Bodies were sometimes piled on top of each other or left on the ground at the city's three public mortuaries because of a lack of fridges, a former worker said yesterday during a Commercial Radio phone-in programme. The man, who did not disclose his name, worked in the Victoria Public Mortuary in Kennedy Town. The problem was so bad that mortuary workers sometimes accidentally stepped on bodies, he said. 'There are bodies over bodies. When you open the fridge, it is all full,' he said. 'There is nothing you can do. You have to step on the bodies sometimes. The limbs might be broken, the faces might be deformed.' The Health Department denied any maladministration but admitted the mortuaries - the Kowloon Public Mortuary in Hunghom, the Fu Shan Public Mortuary in Tai Wai and the Victoria Public Mortuary in Kennedy Town - were often full. A consultant forensic pathologist with the Health Department, Mong Hoi-keung, said bodies were not placed on the ground but on the bottom of fridges. This was because sometimes all the racks in the mortuaries' fridges were full. 'The bodies would then be placed on the bottom of the fridge,' he said. 'I would like to stress that it is only the bottom of the fridge, but not on the ground, as ordinary people could not walk on that area.' He said bodies placed in the bottom of fridges were first individually wrapped in plastic bags. The department said its guidelines would not allow workers to walk over bodies. Dr Mong said the department had not received any complaints from families about the treatment of dead relatives. The three public mortuaries together have storage spaces for 300 bodies and handled more than 6,000 bodies last year. Officials said completion of the Kwai Chung Public Mortuary by the end of this year would take pressure off the other mortuaries and allow bodies to be cremated within the 15 days pledged by the department. Legislator James To Kun-sun last night expressed serious concerns about the handling of bodies. He said he would seek a meeting with the health minister on the issue. Mr To said he understood a lack of incinerators was one of the reasons behind the problem and that increasing cremation facilities would help ease the pressure on mortuary storage facilities.