In South Africa, a woman who was declared dead following a rollover car accident was found breathing in a fridge by a morgue worker who had returned to check on her body. She’s now reportedly recovering in a hospital.
South Africa’s Times Live reports that the Gauteng health department is investigating the declaration of death by ambulance service Distress Assist.
The woman, whose name has not been released, had been declared deceased and taken to the morgue after a pileup outside Carletonville, near Johannesburg, on June 24 after her car rolled, throwing her and two other occupants from the vehicle and killing two, AFP reported. Distress Assist’s operations manager, Gerrit Bradnick, told Times Live paramedics followed all protocols to check for life, including looking for signs of a pulse and breathing, and that there is no sign of negligence. “Equipment used to determine life showed no form of life on the woman.”
A member of the woman’s family who spoke on condition of anonymity told the BBC “we need answers” and that the family is in shock.
It’s not the first time this kind of thing has happened in South Africa, the BBC notes. Seven years ago, a 50-year-old man woke up screaming after spending nearly 24 hours in an Eastern Cape morgue. In 2016, a road-accident victim who was declared dead was found to be breathing the next day, but ended up dying five hours after the discovery.