updated 2/18/2005 5:22:55 PM ET 2005-02-18T22:22:55

Officials in Washington state want to find a machine that can shrink-wrap something big:

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A human body.

The Thurston County Coroner’s Office is on the hunt for a machine that can wrap human remains in plastic in case of a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

Officials say the process would make transporting a big number of bodies easier while sealing in biohazards like anthrax. And they say it would be more respectful than letting bodies sit around like they did after the Asian tsunami.

The office has started the bidding process to see who can build a machine, which will cost about $50,000. A Homeland Security grant will pay the bill.

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