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Indian man found alive after being declared dead and left in a morgue freezer overnight

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An Indian medic wheels a body on a stretcher ahead of a postmortem examination at a morgue in New Delhi.

  • An Indian man was declared dead after a traffic accident and placed in a morgue overnight.
  • But his family said he was still moving when they took him out of the morgue freezer in the morning.
  • A probe is being conducted to find out how the mix-up happened, per local media reports.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

A man in India was mistakenly declared dead and left in a morgue freezer overnight until his family found him alive and breathing the next day. 

Srikesh Kumar, 45, an electrician, was declared dead-on-arrival on November 19 at a private medical facility in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, per an AFP report published via TODAY Online. He was then placed in the morgue’s freezer for his family to come to collect him in the morning. 

“The emergency medical officer examined him. He did not find any signs of life and hence declared him dead,” the hospital’s medical superintendent Rajendra Kumar told the AFP. 

According to a report by Indian news outlet The Tribune, Kumar’s family members went to view his body and identify him and noticed he was breathing and moving. A video of him lying on a hospital gurney that was taken by a member of his family has since been circulating online. 

The superintendent called Kumar’s survival “nothing short of a miracle.” 

Moradabad’s chief medical superintendent Shiv Singh told The Tribune that the emergency medical officer who examined Kumar when he was brought in at 3 a.m. found no heartbeat.

“He had examined the man multiple times,” Singh said. 

The Times of India reported that Kumar was likely in the morgue’s freezer for close to seven hours. The news outlet interviewed a doctor at the hospital who requested anonymity, who said Kumar’s life was likely saved because power outages in the hospital kept switching the freezer — which is usually kept at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit — on and off. 

Singh told The Tribune that a probe into the mistaken declaration of death has been ordered. He added, however, that this was the “rarest of rare cases,” and said that it could not be called “negligence.” 

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