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An Indian woman who was thought to be dead woke up again moments before she was about to be cremated. Bujji Aamma, a 52-year-old from Berhampur, India, was severely burnt in a fire in her home on February 1. She was taken to the hospital with burns covering half her body and returned home, where she remained in a bad state.

A few days later, she didn’t open her eyes because the family was unable to get her to another hospital due to poor finances. Aamma’s husband, Sibaram Palo, thought she had died and arranged for her to be taken to the cremation ground in a hearse. He told the Times of India, “We thought she was dead and informed others in the locality to arrange a hearse van to carry the body to the cremation ground.”

A woman named K Chiranjibi saw Aamma open her eyes and said, “Initially, we were scared as we had never seen such an incident, though we had heard some stories.” The driver of the hearse was called back to collect her, living and breathing, from the cremation ground only half an hour later, and she was taken home in the same hearse. According to the crematorium, families don’t need a death certificate to perform the last rites.

Fortunately, events like these are very rare, but that’s not to say it isn’t the first time this happened. For example, an 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a New York nursing home and was later discovered to be alive by funeral home staff, and a 66-year-old woman with early-onset dementia was declared dead by a nurse, only to be found gasping for air when funeral home staff unzipped the body bag.

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