MONTVALE, NJ — Hughes Environmental Engineering was asked by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) to stand by for emergency refrigeration needs after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Brian Hughes said his company was prepared to start up a mothballed refrigerated warehouse last Wednesday, to be used as a morgue. “Sadly, there were not that many bodies to be found, so the EDC scrapped the plan.”

However, the EDC called back last Saturday and asked Hughes to send a crew to Staten Island to “fire up some new screw compressors with gas-driven engines for a shuttered refrigerated plant.” Hughes said his crew worked all day Saturday but the entire system was out of refrigerant. So they had to return to finish the job the next day, and await the grim task of storing bodies taken from the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Publication date: 09/17/2001