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Victims Of Katrina Still Waiting For FEMA To Help Them

Reported by Deborah - October 8, 2005

Geraldo Rivera spoke to a volunteer medical examiner in New Orleans, Bronson Lutz, who had some serious complaints about FEMA's handling of the dead bodies left to decompose for weeks after Katrina. Lutz claimed that FEMA has been very slow to collect the dead and very slow to identify and release them. 10/8/05

Lutz told Geraldo that since he was an outside volunteer, he was free to speak his mind. He claimed that there were bodies left for a very long time in the 90 degree heat and humidity because FEMA did not pick them up mentioning several bodies in a nursing home and a body left inside a restaurant just decomposing. Lutz claimed that he was told that FEMA had contracted a Texas company to pick up the bodies but they never showed up.

Geraldo awkwardly mentioned that the percentage of African American dead was not too much greater than Whites. It's hard to say what point he was trying to make with that comment. Lutz again remarked about the problems of decomposition in the heat after long periods of exposure.

Lutz went on to say that Mississippi had identified and released 85% of it's deceased. He reported that FEMA had loaded refrigerated trucks with the NOLA dead and taken them to another parrish for a decontamination process before they would allow autopsies. Lutz wanted to know what kind of decontamination a dead body needed?

Thick as a brick Geraldo asked the obviously outraged Lutz if he had "harsh feelings for FEMA"? Lutz claimed that the FEMA people on the street that were hands on working with him were great and were under the impression that someone else was supposed to pick up the bodies.

Here's an article from the LA Times with more detail on the situation.

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