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Corpses Pile Up in Puerto Rico’s Morgues

  • Surge in deaths just as morgue employees migrate en masse
  • Governor’s reorganization drive faces decades of entropy
Refrigerated containers housing unclaimed bodies are parked in an open parking lot in San Juan. 

Refrigerated containers housing unclaimed bodies are parked in an open parking lot in San Juan. 

Photographer: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg

A grisly measure of the difficulty rebuilding Puerto Rico can be found in refrigerated trailers behind a makeshift barrier in a San Juan parking lot.

Inside, according to lawmakers and forensic sciences department employees, are the cadavers of several dozen people who perished in the tumultuous months after Hurricane Maria made landfall in September. So many have accumulated -- 297 by mid-June -- that the agency turned to supplemental storage outside its headquarters.