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'Dead' Woman Found Alive Inside A Morgue Fridge In South Africa

'Dead' Woman Found Alive Inside A Morgue Fridge In South Africa

The unnamed woman is now being treated in hospital after she was found to be breathing

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

A woman in South Africa has been found alive in a mortuary fridge after paramedics declared her dead following a 'horrific' car crash.

The woman, who has remained anonymous, was taken to Carletonville morgue, in Gauteng, after ambulance service 'Distress Alert' confirmed her death at the scene of a pile-up on June 24.

According to News24, mortuary technicians found her alive in a morgue fridge hours after the crash in which the victims' car rolled, throwing all three occupants clear of the vehicle, killing two of them.

TimesLive reported how a mortuary source said that colleagues had loaded the bodies into the fridges and were filling in forms' when one returned to check on them.

He said: "When he pulled out the woman's body' he saw that she was breathing."

But defending their decisions, Distress Alert's operations manager, Gerrit Bradnick, said: "We followed our procedures - we've got no idea how it happened.

"The crew is absolutely devastated - we're not in the business of declaring living people dead, we're in the business of keeping people alive.

"All the right checks were done - breathing, pulse - so the patient was declared deceased."


Mr Bradnick told TimesLive: "Equipment used to determine life showed no form of life on the woman.

"This did not happen because our paramedics are not properly trained. There is no proof of any negligence by our crew."

Mr Bradnick added that the woman, who has now been taken to Carletonville hospital, showed no signs of life when she was seen by first responders.

P.J.L Laurens/Creative Commons

But according to the BBC, an investigation has been launched with the family demanding answers.

A family member told the BBC: "As a family we won't talk about this unless the police, paramedics and the mortuary officials who were involved are present. We need answers."

The man said that the family of the woman were in shock.

He added: "The issue is that we need answers, that's all we want and we don't have any clarity now."

It seems that this isn't the first time someone had been found in a morgue fridge still alive. In January, a prisoner in Spain was found unresponsive in his cell and 'completely out of it'.

Two doctors at the prison believed he had died and the court sent a forensic doctor from the judicial commission to officially declare his death.

But other forensic doctors started to hear noises coming from him and realised he was still alive.

NIOSH/Creative Commons

And, rather worryingly, it isn't the first time it's happened in South Africa and as a result of a car crash.

Back in 2016, a 28-year-old was discovered alive having spent two days in a mortuary fridge when his shocked family came to identify his body.

This is really shocking stuff and we just hope that something will be done to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Death, south africa, Interesting, Community, Weird, Car Crash