Disturbing new images show Texas inmates loading dozens of bodies into refrigerated trucks behind an overflowing El Paso morgue amid a new surge in coronavirus cases.
The photos show a half dozen prisoners from the county jail — all wearing striped jailhouse uniforms — stacking bodies three and four high, and loading them into trailers lined up in the parking lot of the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office on Saturday.
The inmates, who are paid $2 an hour to be part of the grim detail, are seen wheeling body after body to the trailers, where they are stacked on shelves.
In one particularly haunting image, the prisoners are seen on the back of a trailer waiting to load another body, just on the other side of a chain-link fence from a cemetery.
Between four and 10 prisoners volunteered for the task and were given masks, gloves, and other protective gear, officials said.
Officials said the medical examiner currently has eight refrigerated trailers behind its offices, with two more expected to be added.
By Saturday, more than 73,000 residents in the county of 720,000 people had tested positive for the global pandemic, with 762 dead.