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Lack of stenographers, equipment delaying Katrina autopsy reports
NEW ORLEANS Doctors at the morgue in Saint Gabriel have completed 500 autopsies on bodies recovered following Hurricane Katrina, but officials or families hoping to obtain the results have a long wait ahead of them.
Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard, who oversees the autopsies, says on only person is typing the reports.
Minyard says his staff was cut by two-thirds in the wake of the hurricane, including the clerks who would normally type up the reports.
He says getting equipment and staff has been a difficult process. Minyard blames the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the delays. He says it took seven weeks to get a regular phone at the makeshift morgue -- and that it was obtained only when someone removed one from an office in Baton Rouge and brought it to Saint Gabriel.
A spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources said the agency has been trying to meet the needs of the hurricane morgue.