Stench of tens of thousands of dead rotting bodies keeps mounting in Haiti

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Jan 18, 2010, 4:18:21 AM1/18/10
*Perilous Times

Stench of tens of thousands of dead rotting bodies keeps mounting in Haiti*

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Conditions in Haiti grew worse Sunday as
thousands of residents begged for food and water, and bodies were dumped
in mass graves.

Bulldozer after bulldozer dumped buckets full of bodies and debris into
a grave at the Port-au-Prince cemetery downtown.

Arms and legs dangled from the sides of the bulldozers' buckets as they
drove to offload their cargo into a trench already teeming with rotting,
bloated bodies. Local people watched from across the street, their
T-shirts pulled over their faces to block the stench.

Death was everywhere. Search and rescue teams from Costa Rica and Puerto
Rico rested with their sniffer dogs in a parking lot. The searchers, 68
in all, had been in the country three days, scoured 10 sectors in a
3-mile radius and found no one alive, said searcher Jose Velazquez of
Puerto Rico. They had found 17 bodies, he said.

"I don't think we'll find anyone alive," he said. "We'll just keep working."

Ivan Cruz from Puerto Rico said searching here is more difficult than at
the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks. "There we were
looking for people in just one block," he said. "Here it's everywhere."

At the collapsed Palm Apparel T-shirt factory in Thor, a neighborhood in
the Carrefour section, the body of a woman poked out from the wreckage,
her dust-covered hair visible. Dozens of purses are scattered on the
ground, empty after looters pilfered their contents.

Evans Brice, 21, sat with his head in his hands. His girlfriend, Fiona
Jean, 21, worked at Palm. He can see her body in the debris. He has
visited her every day.

"I can't help it. I love her," said Brice, opening his wallet to show
her photos.

The factory owner brought in a U.S. search team Saturday and found 15
people alive, said Kathleen Fancois, who lives next door.

On a hilltop in the Petionville area, where thousands of cinderblock
homes cascaded down the hill, men dug a crude pit in rocky ground to
bury the dead. A leg bone protruded from the pile. Flies covered the
flesh. At least 31 people are buried there, said Clemente Dirre, 29, a
mechanic who lives nearby.

"They don't even cover the bodies," Dirre said. "The odor is terrible."

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