The room was opened after a gap of 25 years and no one had any idea what was in it. As three men unlocked the door on Tuesday, they recoiled in horror — there was a human skeleton in the toilet of the room.
Panic ran high at Lady Dufferin Hospital on Wednesday when the staff discovered the skeleton in the room that no one had entered in over two decades. As the news spread, no one agreed to re-enter the room. Instead, they alerted Muchipara police station.
A professor of forensic science was also called in. He studied the skeleton and the spot it was found for over an hour. Later, the local police sent the skeleton for a forensic test.
Preliminary investigation carried out by the local police drew a blank. “The discovery of the skeleton is a mystery. We have gone through the hospital records that show data from 1980. There was no mention of the skeleton,” said Timir Bhattacharya, officer-in-charge of Muchipara police station.
Bhattacharya said the skeleton could have been for medical students. “But we don’t want to take any chances. We asked the forensic experts to give us a detailed report, including how old the skeleton is, if there is any injury mark on it and whether it is male or female,” he said.
However, even the “skeletons for medical students” theory is not finding many takers, as Dufferin is a non-teaching hospital. So where did the skeleton come from' Could it be that a body had been dumped there'
The police say they have “heard” that many years ago, Dufferin may have been used as a nursing school for a diploma course. But there is no one to corroborate it. “It is difficult to collect information, as most of the present hospital staff have been working here for just a few years. We are looking for anyone who was attached with the hospital 25 years ago,” said Bhattacharya.
Police have initiated a probe to find out whether anyone had been trapped in the room 25 years ago. “Everything will be clear only after the forensic test report arrives,” said an official investigating the case.
Bhattacharya, overseer of the probe, said the ground-floor room of the paediatric surgery building had been locked for the past 25 years. “Recently, the hospital authorities decided to renovate the ground floor. So, they opened the room on Tuesday,” he added. The staff entered the 40 ft by 30 ft room to find it full of dusty furniture. The shock awaited them in the toilet.
An official of Muchipara police station later said: “They first saw the skull only, as the rest of the skeleton was covered with plastic sheets. One of the employees then went close and removed the sheet, only to discover the rib-cage. All the workers rushed out of the room and raised the alarm.