Source: Baltimore Sun

A Prince George’s County funeral home has lost its license after a state inspector discovered what appeared to be 40 bodies intended for cremation haphazardly piled in body bags stacked in its garage.

The Maryland State Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors summarily suspended the license of the Chambers Funeral Home & Crematorium in Riverdale on Monday. The emergency suspension affects two morticians as well as their business license.

“I saw the photos,” said Hari P. Close, the state funeral board’s president. “It’s a rare situation, tasteless and shameful.”

He said his findings have been sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Close said the funeral home was allowed to complete the cremation of the bodies at its business. It has until Friday to complete any other funeral arrangements and then will be closed.

In late April, a state investigator made an unannounced inspection to check on “deficiencies noted at a previous inspection.”

The inspector was reviewing a refrigerated area located in a garage structure that houses the crematory. The inspector noticed a “large pile, approximately 12 by 12 feet, of body bags containing human remains strewn on the floor of the garage in front of a removal van. There was visible leakage from the body bags as well as a pungent odor.”

The inspector’s notes said an unnamed funeral home employee said, “Don’t get upset about all the bodies in there.”

William Chambers, one of the funeral home’s owners, said he would fight the license suspension at a hearing at the end of the month.

“We felt we handled things appropriately, but the board felt differently,” he said Tuesday. “We have limited space, and things were in disarray. It was unacceptable.”

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