Montreal morgue partners with funeral home after surge in heat-related deaths

Montreal heat wave sun

A total of 33 people have died in Montreal since the beginning of the heat wave, according to public health officials.

Montreal was the area of the province with the highest number of victims, the government said, with 28 people dying from heat-related complications.

On Friday, provincial officials said 54 people had died province-wide, but they could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday. In Montreal, nearly all were over the age of 50.

In America three deaths in the northeast have been blamed on the heat and two more in Kansas City might also be heat-related, CBS News reported.

Jean Brochu, the coroner in Montreal, said a large amount of the 128 available spots in the morgue are permanently occupied by unclaimed bodies.

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The coroners have been asked to speed up the process of doing their examinations and quickly get in contact with families of those who have passed away.

Earlier, Environment Canada forecasted that the temperature will be 35 Degree Celsius but it will feel like 45 Degree Celsius.

All deaths associated with the heat wave are considered "traumatic" and under coroner's investigation.

David Kaiser, a physician at Montreal's Public Health Department, said most of the victims lived alone and none had access to air conditioning.

"We really hope that the next information we have to give out is the last and total number of deaths for this heat wave", says Kaiser.

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