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Arizona shop cooler a way for county to store bodies

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- 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 said 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 reported 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.

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