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‘Back from the dead’: South African woman found alive in mortuary fridge

04 July 2018

Paramedics in the gold-mining town of Carletonville in South Africa are insisting they did everything in their power to determine whether a auto crash victim could be saved before declaring her dead.

But shockingly, a morgue worker discovered that the woman was still breathing when he returned to check on her body several hours after the crash - which killed the other two occupants of the vehicle.

The Gauteng province health department said the person, reported by South African media to be a woman, was taken to a hospital where a forensic officer realised there had been a mistake following the June 24 accident.

The woman, who has not been named, is being treated in a hospital east of Johannesburg.

"Paramedics are trained to determine death, not us", a source at the Carletonville mortuary told the Sowetan newspaper.

This is not the first time someone has been found alive after being declared dead in South Africa.

The woman was said to have no form of life but when a morgue attendant when to check her, she found her alive.

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"We are investigating the case and we will present our findings once it has been concluded", Gerrit Bradnick said.

On Monday, ambulance service Distress Alert confirmed that they had certified the woman dead.

Mr Bradnick said there's "no proof" his staff were negligent.

"We need answers", a family member told the BBC, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In January an inmate at a jail in Spain's Asturias region regained consciousness hours before an autopsy was due to be performed. Seven years ago, a 50-year-old man woke up screaming in an Eastern Cape morgue, demanding to be taken out of "the cold place" after spending almost 24 hours there.

In 2016, medics declared a road accident victim in KwaZulu Natal dead.

‘Back from the dead’: South African woman found alive in mortuary fridge