Latin America & Caribbean

'Dead' Brazilian freed from body bag

map of Bahia

A Brazilian man has been rescued from a body bag in a mortuary two hours after being declared dead, his family says.

Doctors told relatives that Valdelucio de Oliveira Goncalves, 54, had died after suffering two heart attacks.

Family members had arrived at the mortuary to dress the body when they noticed that the bag was moving, and Mr Goncalves was in fact still breathing.

They rushed to get staff to free him, as his body had been tied up and his nose and ears filled with cotton wool.

The Menandro de Farias Hospital, in Bahia state capital Salvador, has opened an inquiry.

"Hospital directors will meet the team who saw the patient to clarify the course of action taken," Bahia's health department said in a statement.

The man's niece, Patricia Cintra, told the story to local newspaper Correio 24 Horas.

"We had even bought a coffin and paid a deposit for the funeral," she said.

She said her uncle was diagnosed three months ago with a terminal cancer, but that the family's prayers for a miracle had been answered.

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