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Hundreds of fetuses found at Thailand temple

From Kocha Olarn, CNN
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Fetuses found at Thai temple
  • The smell of decay leads to the discovery
  • The fetuses came from illegal abortion clinics, police say
  • The chief of morticians admit receiving fetuses from several clinics
  • Temples in Thailand typically have morticians who prepare bodies for cremation
  • Bangkok
  • Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- More than 340 fetuses have been found at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, discovered because the smell of decay drew complaints, police said Wednesday.

Discovery of the fetuses, which came from illegal abortion clinics, have led to six morticians being detained for questioning, police Lt. Col. Chusak Kumsai said.

The chief of morticians admitted receiving fetuses from several clinics, Kumsai said.

Temples in Thailand typically have morticians who prepare bodies for cremation.

The fetuses have been taken from the Phai-nguern Chotinaram temple in central Bangkok to the Chulongkorn Forensic Institute for investigation, police said.

"I think [the fetuses were at the temple] because the new incinerators are under construction," nearby resident Puak Eiamchan said. "So the temple can't receive any dead bodies to cremate for almost two months now."

"I believe that people who did this must have done it for some time and it was exposed because they can't burn the fetuses and they were accumulated to hundreds and the smell started to tell."

Abortion is illegal in Thailand, but women are allowed to one if they are the victims of rape, or if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, according to Pavena Hongskul, founder of the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women.