Unclaimed bodies in PNG buried in mass grave

7:48 am on 3 December 2015

Fifty bodies that lay unclaimed from the morgue in Papua New Guinea's second city, Lae, have been buried in a mass grave.

The Lae city manager, Roy Kamen, says the morgue is full and needed space for new bodies, and the 50 bodies -- which includes 15 babies -- had lay in the morgue unclaimed for too long.

Mr Kamen told the Post Courier the city authority had no other option but to clear the morgue to make space and the mass burial was the easiest option.

He says families, villages and provinces should make it their responsibility to bring bodies home and give them a decent burial.

However, he says the Angau Memorial Hospital does need to increase the morgue's capacity.

Morgue attendant Gideon Mati (R) struggles to close a refrigerated shipping container filled with unclaimed corpses behind Port Moresby General hospital, 2007.

The Morgue in Port Moresby General hospital has also had a problem with unclaimed bodies. Photo: AFP