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Rural Arizona city to store dead bodies in flower shop cooler in emergency

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) — If something goes terribly wrong in southeastern Arizona, Cochise County has a way to temporarily store dead bodies.

The county Board of Supervisors has approved a no-cost, five-year agreement with a Bisbee building owner to use a former floral shop’s walk-in cooler to store human remains if there are mass fatalities.

Building owner Joan Werner says a former shop employee suggested the cooler could be used in emergencies to store bodies.

According to Werner, Pima County has a refrigerated truck that could be borrowed, but a contagion or other catastrophe might go beyond county lines.

The Sierra Vista Herald reports that remains could stay in the cooler until arrangements are made to bury or transport them to a medical examiner’s facility.

The county would sanitize the cooler afterward.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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