Donated food sent to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria were left to rot in a parking lot of a government facility, CBS News corresondent David Begnaud reported Friday. Additionally, about 10 containers filled with non-perishable supplies sat at the government facility for 11 months.
Video of supplies covered in rodent droppings was first posted by a Puerto Rican radio station Radio Isla on Thursday. When Begnaud visited, the trailers with the containers were locked Friday.
The National Guard said in a statement the donations that were highlighted were not distributed because they were expired. Stored items that were not expired would be distributed in the coming days, the National Guard said.
Nicolás Gautier, an official at the facility, told CBS News one of of the containers had “food for dogs, and apparently several of the boxes were broken. After the placement in the van, that brings a lot of rats and it infected everything.”
The goods were at Puerto Rico’s elections commission, which has been serving as a collection site for donations.
The Puerto Rican government said earlier this week that there were” in the four months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which passed just north of the island. Initially, Puerto Rican officials had said there were only 64 deaths from the storm.
A CBSN Originals team was in Puerto Rico two weeks ago. They visited a morgue that has a backlog of roughly 300 unidentified bodies waiting to undergo autopsy.