Turkish morgue is equipped for the living 30 Sep 11

(Reuters) – Officials in a city in rural eastern Turkey, responding to an ancient local fear of being buried alive, have equipped the local morgue with the latest gadgetry in case any of the bodies stored there have been declared dead by mistake.

Alarms and electronic motion detectors in the mortuary in Malatya, a town not otherwise known for its modernity, will detect the slightest movement by a living person emerging from a coma or long period of unconsciousness.

The 36 refrigerators will be fitted with interior door handles to allow their occupants to climb out of their coffins and open the doors, Akif Kayadurmus, head of the municipal funerals service, told the state news agency Anatolian.

“The device detects even the slightest movement and sends out an alarm,” Kayadurmus said. “We also placed a system at the feet of the deceased that opens the refrigerator in case of contact. The resurrections may be rare, but we have taken every possibility into account.”

The morgue, which is due to open this week, will also have a lounge, a cafe and digital information panels to allow mourners to follow the washing and wrapping of the dead in accordance with Islamic tradition.