CHICAGO
01/12/2011 03:32 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cook County Morgue Overcrowded: Bodies Reportedly Stacked

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office is reportedly double-stacking bodies due to overcrowding at the morgue.

WBBM reports that the cooler where bodies are stored has been packed since the holidays.

"We had this huge upswing in deaths right at the end of the year, and with the holidays being on Saturdays, it really created a backlog because the funeral directors weren't coming in," Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Jones told WBBM.

In some cases, Dr. Jones said they have to put two bodies in one tray, which the morgue has reportedly been doing "for decades."

"My rule is, if you have two bodies on a tray, you have to have two thin bodies," Jones said.

A mass burial next week is expected to free up some space.

Fox reports that the last time the morgue was this full was the Chicago heat wave of 1995.