Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Body Bag Industry

Not to make light of an egregious impending situation, but if you read this article from the BBC about military operations against Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka you will read this interesting phrase:

The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed a routine order of body bags...

A routine order of body bags? That is a detail of war that I've never thought of. This implies that there is a body bag industry from which it is possible to order. If there is a body bag industry then there could be competing body bag manufacturing companies offering a range of products in a range of qualities for a range of prices. Are there government standards that body bag manufacturers have to abide by? Who else uses body bags on such a regular basis that they require "routine" orders besides the ICRC? Off the top of my head I came up with: county coroners and forensic departments, the army, hospitals, and TV shows with an emphasis on crime and forensics.

According to my Google inquiries it seems that the industry name for body bag is "transport pouch" (there is even a There are different types of "transport pouches" for different situations such as "water recovery" or simply "disaster." You can order them individually or by the case. They have handles of various types. They come in several different colors (blue, orange, black, and an array of drab grays and greens), several different materials (mostly vinyl and nylon it seems), and they come in sizes from infant to adult (with a special "oversized" adult bag). Apparently there are transport pouches that are up to military specification.

And now I know about the body ba... I mean transport pouch industry.

Photo by Danny Hammontree


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