Katrina's Angels

Coordinating resources for the survivors of major natural disasters.

News and Announcements

Lack of stenographers, equipment delaying Katrina autopsy reports

Date: 11/2/2005

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.