A South African woman is recovering in hospital after being discovered alive in a mortuary fridge. The woman was taken to Carletonville morgue, in Gauteng province, having been declared dead by paramedics following a road accident.

Ambulance company Distress Alert said she had shown “no form of life”, South Africa’s TimesLive website reports. But when a morgue worker returned to check on the body in the fridge, he found the woman was breathing. The woman is now being treated in a hospital east of Johannesburg after being referred by forensics officers. 

An investigation into the incident is being carried out, with the family demanding answers. “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,” a family member said.

Distress Alert operations manager Gerrit Bradnick said there was “no proof of any negligence” on his company’s behalf. “This did not happen because our paramedics are not properly trained,” he told local reporters. The woman was one of several people involved in a car accident which left two others dead on Sunday, 24 June.

Curiously, this is not the first time this year someone has woken up in a mortuary after being declared dead. In January an inmate at a jail in Spain’s Asturias region regained consciousness hours before an autopsy was due to be performed. Three doctors had certified him dead. It is also not the first time this has happened in South Africa. Seven years ago, a 50-year-old man woke up screaming in an Eastern Cape morgue. In 2016, another road accident victim, from KwaZulu Natal, was declared dead, only to be found breathing the next day.

What can it mean?

In the Earth Emperor’s Eye the Emperor challenges some of the characters to a game of ‘Live or Let Die’ which changes the destiny of their loved ones. The tale also explores what happens when we lose those closest to us. It reveals a wonderful message of hope. However, it also records how the Earth’s nemesis the symbolic cruel Grim Dead rises from the grave to wreck havoc on Mother Nature.