The perils of sleeping soundly

A 50-year-old South African man was rather taken aback when he woke up inside a mortuary at the weekend and screamed to be let out, an action which only scared away attendants who thought he was a ghost.

His family had presumed he was dead when they could not wake him on Saturday night and contacted a private morgue in a rural village in the Eastern Cape. He spent almost 24 hours inside the morgue.

The man was subsequently treated in hospital for dehydration and then put under observation. He did not need further treatment.

Officials have urged the public to contact doctors or the emergency services before calling an undertaker in order to prevent such occurrences in the future. They also wonder just how many people may have died in morgues as a result of similar judgements made by members of the public in the past.

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