JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African motorcyclist declared dead at the scene of an accident was found alive in a morgue fridge the next day when his family went to identify his body, but he died later in hospital.

 

The victim, who was not identified, was injured in a smash on Monday evening on a road in the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, and was transferred to the morgue in Durban.

 

The next morning, however, mortuary staff detected a pulse and breathing and rushed him to hospital, where doctors and nurses managed to resuscitate and warm him, but he later died, according to a health department official.

 

Kwa-Zulu Natal health authorities said they had launched an investigation into the incident.

 

"The passing away of any individual is a painful experience," a provincial health department statement said. "The department can confirm that an internal inquiry is under way."

 

(Reporting by Ed Cropley; editing by Mark Heinrich)