A  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.

Report has it that 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.”