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Travis County medical examiner processes more than 80 deaths since start of winter storm

Hojun Choi Ryan Autullo
Austin American-Statesman

The Travis County medical examiner's office on Monday said it is processing dozens of deaths that occurred last week. 

Travis County spokesman Hector Nieto told the American-Statesman that the medical examiner's office is now processing more than 80 deaths reported since Feb. 13. 

Nieto said the medical examiner's office did not suspend operations last week because of the severe winter weather but experienced some initial delays, requiring the medical examiner's staff to work through the weekend to help finish processing last week's deaths. 

It was unclear whether the cause and manner of death in those cases have been determined, or whether any of the deaths were directly related to complications from the winter storm.

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An Austin police officer drives on MoPac Boulevard near La Crosse Avenue in Southwest Austin on Wednesday February 17, 2021.

Three people died in a house fire in East Austin on Wednesday. Austin fire officials have not determined what the cause of the fire was, but said it could possibly be weather-related as people across the city last week employed extreme measures like burning objects inside their homes to stay warm amid freezing temperatures and power outages. 

Local emergency officials were inundated with a record-setting of volumes of calls throughout the winter storm. 

Austin police last week also reported two separate killings. 

Clarification: An earlier version of this story quoted incorrect information provided by Austin police last week about the operations of the Travis County medical examiner's office. The medical examiner's office staff continued operations during last week storm but experienced some initial delays, Travis County spokesman Hector Nieto said. 

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