On June 24, a woman was travelling with friends in a car when their vehicle had a head-on collision with another car.
While the other passengers escaped without major injury, paramedics believed the unnamed lady was dead.
They checked for signs of life, including breathing and a pulse, but there was nothing, apparently, so they took her to the nearest morgue in Carletonville, South Africa.
However, when technicians returned to the room later on, they were horrified to hear breathing coming from one of the refrigerators.
When they opened the drawer, they discovered the woman was still alive – she remains in critical condition however.
One of the mortuary workers told local media: “You never expect to open a morgue fridge and find someone in there alive.
“Can you imagine if we had begun the autopsy and killed her?”.
Gerrit Bradnick, operational manager for Distress Alert, said: “Our crew is devastated — we are here to keep people alive.
“If there was any indication she was still alive, we would have treated her. This has been extremely traumatic for us.”
Local authorities are currently investigating what has happened.
However, mistaking a patient for being dead is actually more common than one might believe.
In January, a prisoner in Spain was pronounced dead by three different doctors but was later found snoring on the autopsy table.
In Poland in 2014, a 91-year old woman was declared dead and spent 11 hours in a body bag before officials found that it was moving.
Ryan Blumenthal, senior forensic pathologist at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Forensic Medicine, said: “The diagnosis of death may be extremely difficult.
“It can fool you, and it can fool you bad.”