It's the kind of story you'd hope would have a miraculously happy ending, but it wasn't to be in South Africa. Last Monday evening, 28-year-old Msizi Mkhize was struck by a car in Durban and pronounced dead at the scene, reports the Times of London. He was transferred to the local morgue and placed in the facility's refrigerator—only to be discovered alive the next day, when his family came to identify the body. "A pulse was found in the patient by mortuary staff," says a provincial official. Mkhize was rushed to the hospital, but he died five hours later. Police and health officials have confirmed the story and say a formal inquiry is underway to figure out how the awful mistake happened.
“We arrived there at 8am to do the paperwork and view the body of my child," Mkhize's father tells the local Daily News. "It was after 12pm when an employee told one of the doctors my son was alive." Doctors began an intensive effort to warm and resuscitate Mkhize's body, but it was ultimately unsuccessful, reports the Citizen. One official says staffers stayed beyond their shifts to help. “I have no words to express how I feel about what happened to my child," says Mkhize's father. "To spend the entire night and morning in the mortuary refrigerator is wrong." (This is not a first.)