Only one grave left: The grim reality of Europe's refugee crisis

Jamie Roberton

Former Health and Science Producer

By Jamie Roberton and Vania Turner

"If we dont get enough space; if more people die they'll be making it as far as the morgue and they'll be stuck there."

This is the stark warning from an undertaker in Mytilene on a day when Lesbos was once again overwhelmed by the volume of refugees arriving from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.

Christos Mavrahilis told ITV News that the bodies of around 100 refugees and migrants who died making the perilous journey are buried at St. Panteleimon cemetery which overlooks the island.

ITV News tracks a day of refugee arrivals on Lesbos

A grave lies covered in weeds. Credit: Vania Turner/ITV News

The most recent victim was a four-month-old baby from Afghanistan, who passed away earlier this month.

He believes he is the only one burying refugees, with other cemeteries on Greece's third-biggest island full.

The makeshift graves bear the first name of the victim with the date they died on a small plaque.

Others simply say: "Unknown"

But Christos is running out of space for bodies, forcing him to dig up the dead - the majority of whom are Afghan babies.

Most cross the dangerous waters packed into small dinghies such as this one. Credit: Jamie Roberton/ITV News

And what happens to those that have been exhumed?

"Their bones are put in a box and stored in a room in the graveyard in case someone comes to claim them," he says.

With only one grave left and thousands still making the dangerous journey, the grim process of exhuming the remains of dead children will inevitably have to be repeated.