Police, fire and volunteers
removing bodies from the Iroquois theater worked out a kind
of makeshift triage system. The living were
taken next door to J. R. Thompsons diner where
doctors administered first aid or lifesaving
measures. Some were sent on to a
hospital, some taken back outside and added to rows
on the sidewalk of the declared dead, awaiting transport to
morgues, many of which were funeral homes.
Newspapers would later tell
the story of a woman at Thompsons diner who moved
after having been relegated to a pile of corpses,
and of a man who woke up in a wagon of bodies being
transported to the morgue. History can never
know the answer but it seems probable there were
others who were judged as dead though they had a spark
of life left, but died while laying on the sidewalk, at the morgue or in a body wagon, without
being seen by a doctor. All involved did they
best they could but there were eight hundred dead
and injured victims, in the dark and in freezing
Sunset was around 4:30 pm. All the bodies were
not removed until 6:30 pm.
It was -4 degrees and there was six inches of snow on the ground.