Dead-tired man wakes in morgue
Published 26/07/2011 | 05:00
A 50-year-old South African man woke up inside a mortuary and screamed to be let out -- scaring away the mortuary attendants who thought he was a ghost.
The man's family presumed he was dead when they could not wake him after repeated attempts over the weekend, and contacted a private morgue in a rural village in the Eastern Cape.
He spent almost 24 hours inside the morgue, the region's health department spokesman told the SAPA news agency.
The two attendants later returned to the morgue, and called for an ambulance for the man.
The man -- whose identity has been withheld -- was treated in hospital for dehydration.
"Doctors put him under observation and concluded he was stable," Eastern Cape health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said.
"He did not need further treatment."
Mr Kupelo said that the man woke up at 1700 local time (1500 GMT) on Sunday, demanding to be let out of the chilly morgue in Libode village, and frightening the attendants on duty.
"At first the men ran for their lives," said Mr Kupelo.
South African officials have urged the public to contact doctors or the emergency services, so that they can pronounce someone dead before calling an undertaker.
"You begin to you ask yourself how many other people have died like that in a morgue," said Mr Kupelo.
"We need to [get] the message across to all South Africans that it is very wrong for them to conclude on their own that a person has died," he said.