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‘Dead woman’ knocks on coffin during wake in Ecuador

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The moment Bella Montoya is found alive in her coffin

A 76-year-old woman who was declared at a hospital knocked on her coffin during a wake in Ecuador, local officials and witnesses say. She was rushed back to hospital in critical condition.

The incident happened on Friday in Babahoyo, a city about 55 kilometers (34 miles) northeast of Guayaquil in central Ecuador. Government officials confirmed the incident on Monday as video was shared on social media.

Bella Montoya, a 76-year-old retired nurse, was first hospitalized on Friday morning with a possible stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest. She was declared dead after she failed to respond to resuscitation.

Montoya was then brought to a funeral home, where a wake was held later that day.

“There were about 20 of us there,” her son, Gilberto Barbera, told AP. “After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds. My mom was wrapped in sheets and hitting the coffin, and when we approached we could see that she was breathing heavily.”

The relatives called 911 and Montoya was rushed back to the hospital, where she remained in the intensive care unit on Monday. She’s under intubation and doctors are not giving much hope about her prognosis, her son said.

Ecuador’s Health Ministry said an investigation has been launched.

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