Inmates help move bodies as they pile up at El Paso Medical Examiner’s office


El Paso County detention inmates on work release climb into a transport van after working at the Medical Examiner’s office in El Paso, Texas on November 13, 2020. – Inmates on work release are assisting the medical examiners office to relieve pressure during the recent spike in coronavirus deaths. Due to a recent spike in coronavirus deaths, El Paso County officials have brought in five mobile morgue trailers with five more on standby. Within the past 48 hours there have been 45 recorded COVID-19 deaths (Photo by Justin HAMEL / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN HAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Inmates at El Paso County Detention Facility are assisting the city’s medical examiner with the overflow of bodies at the morgue, an El Paso County Sheriff’s spokesperson confirmed to NewsNation affiliate KTSM.

The inmates were seen at the Medical Examiner’s office in full PPE gear on Friday, assisting near the mobile morgues and inside the building. The spokesperson did not give further detail about the inmates’ formal tasks, only that they were “helping them there.”

El Paso has 10 mobile morgues set up at the Medical Examiner’s office for the overflow of bodies awaiting autopsy. As of Friday, there were 748 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 and 369 additional deaths under investigation, according to Johns Hopkins. The number of deaths under investigation has jumped 137 — from 232 on November 1.

NewsNation affiliate KTSM contributed to this report.

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