Texas Border Town Asks for Refrigerators to Store Bodies of Drowned Migrants as Morgues Overwhelmed
13:28 GMT 12.09.2022 (Updated: 13:30 GMT 12.09.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Authorities in Eagle Pass, a small town in Texas on the border with Mexico, have requested refrigerators to store the bodies of drowned migrants as local morgues are already overcrowded, Fox News reported on Monday, citing firefighters.
"There are so many bodies being recovered that the morticians are asking for assistance. I had never seen so many drownings like we're seeing right now," Eagle Pass Fire Department Chief Manuel Mello III, told the broadcaster. "We do a body recovery daily. It's very traumatic for my personnel."
With the surge in the number of illegal migrants who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande River at the border with Mexico, the morgues and funeral homes in Eagle Pass have become overwhelmed, according to Mello.
There are only four ambulances and two reserve trucks in the small town, he said.
"But those four trucks, they get overwhelmed every single day," Mello added.
The agency's chief noted that his department typically receives 7,000 emergency calls a year, but the service received 8,500 calls in 2021 and is expected to reach the same figure this year.
"I would like to see the federal government jump in and help out in whatever way they can," Mello told Fox News. "If they could at least stop this migration, that would be awesome."
8 September 2022, 15:50 GMT
The Rio Grande starts in the US state of Colorado, flows south through New Mexico and goes into the Gulf of Mexico, forming a natural boundary between the US state of Texas and Mexico.
Well over 2 million migrants have entered the United States illegally via the US southern border since October, breaking last year's record set under the Biden administration's watch. The influx has severely strained local, state and federal resources trying to handle the situation.