Body parts found in University of Cologne's cellars

The University of Cologne is investigating after hundreds of human body parts were found in the cellars of its institute of anatomy, apparently abandoned there for years, writes Kate Connolly for the Guardian. The scandal has shaken the German academic world, especially as last month the former director of the anatomy department was found dead, apparently having taken his life when rumours began to circulate.

According to a first report made available to Spiegel Online, university staff discovered a room full of human adult corpses and animal cadavers, as well as a large number of plastic buckets, labelled ‘noses’, ‘newborns’ and ‘shark head’. Evidence gathered by hygiene experts and fire safety officers accompanying the staff indicated that the room might have been left unused for a decade or more.

About 100 corpses of people who had donated their bodies to medical research, but who should by then have long been buried, were among the macabre discoveries. The institute has been trying to identify them using a highly muddled donor archive.

One of the staff said that at the time of the visit "the cooling system was broken, and the room smelt accordingly bad". He described the scene as "quite disgusting" and "reminiscent of a horror film".
Full report on the Guardian site