HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Fire Department unveiled three refrigerated morgue trailers on Thursday, Aug. 19.

The containers were purchased in 2020 using CARES Act money in response to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the fall.

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Officials said they reached out to mainland counterparts who were running out of morgue and mortuary space, so they decided to be proactive and order the trailers.

“Now we’re seeing more deaths occur, COVID and non-COVID related, so having them as a resource, we’re prepared should we ever need them,” said Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office lead investigator Charlotte Carter.

“For this current COVID outbreak, it just goes back to getting vaccinated ‘cuz again, what a sad and undignified way to end up when you could’ve just gotten a simple vaccine at no cost and probably no waiting anymore either,” said Dr. James Ireland, Honolulu Emergency Services director.

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The trailers can also be used in a mass casualty event if needed. Each container cost about $100,000.