Monday, September 05, 2005

Bring out your dead

From NOLA.com, datelined Baton Rouge:

The FEMA DMORT mortuary team is setting up in St. Gabriel, La., near Baton Rouge to begin the task of counting and identifying the thousands of dead.

The official count is only 59 so far, but there are reports of about 100 bodies already waiting on a wharf in St. Bernard Parish for transport, and both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin have floated estimates of "thousands".

A state medical official said any death that investigators determine would not have occurred if not for Hurricane Katrina will be attributed to the storm. "If you are on a respirator at home and the electricity goes out, you are a hurricane death," he said

The challenge will be in identifying bodies without any identification on them. Things like dental and medical records were most likely destroyed in the storm.

This story contradicts the "mass graves" rumors that are flying around the refugee and expat communities. However, anything sourced to FEMA officials at this time cannot be counted as reliable information. (See "FEMA's lies stacking up like bodies" below.)

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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