A woman is believed to have been buried alive by mistake and lay conscious inside her coffin for 11 days before trying to fight her way out of the stone tomb.
Rosangela Almeida dos Santos, 37, appears to have desperately tried to escape her wooden casket, which had been nailed shut after she was buried alive.
But she had already died by the time family members smashed open the tomb last Friday after locals reported hearing screams coming from her grave, according to reports.
Shocking footage shows the commotion in the Senhora Santana cemetery in Riachao das Neves, northeast Brazil, as local men took out the heavy coffin and removed the lid.
Some people ask to call an ambulance as others touch the woman’s feet and comment on how warm she feels.
Married Ms Santos was declared dead by a hospital on January 28 and was buried the next day.
People living near to the cemetery alerted her family on February 9 – 11 days after she had been laid to rest – after hearing screams and bangs coming from inside the tomb.
Her body had reportedly turned around and still warm, cotton wool which had been in the woman’s ears and nostrils had come out and she had injuries on her hands and forehead where it appeared she had tried to fight her way out.
The nails around the sides of the coffin lid had also been pushed upwards, and there were scratches and blood on the inside, they claim.
Ms Santos had been at the Hospital do Oeste in Barreiras, in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, for a week after being rushed there by her family with severe fatigue.
She suffered two cardiac arrests before dying from ‘septic shock’, according to her death certificate.
The woman, who was married but didn’t have children, reportedly suffered fainting spells since she was seven years old and took anti-convulsant medicines.
Locals reported hearing screaming and banging coming from the grave about 11 days after Ms Santos was laid to rest Her family said their goodbyes at a wake held that night, and she was buried in a concrete tomb at the municipal cemetery in her home town, Riachao das Neves, the following day.
But last Friday residents living on the street next to the cemetery raised the alarm after hearing screams, banging and groans coming from inside the woman’s stone tomb. Housewife Natalina Silva told said that many people had heard muffled screams during the night.
She said: ‘When I got there right in front of the tomb, I heard banging from inside it. I thought the kids who play around the cemetery were playing a joke on me.
‘Then I heard her groan twice, and after those two groans she stopped.’
Ms Santos’ mother, Germana de Almeida, 66, said that when they took out and opened the coffin they found injuries to her body when she claimed weren’t there when they buried her.
She said: ‘She had tried to open the lid, even the nails that had been hammered in were loose. Her hands were injured, like she had been trying to get out.’
Ana Francisco Dias, who lives near the cemetery, told Brazil’s Globo TV station: ‘There were than 500 people who came here and packed the cemetery, everybody went to see, lots of people touched her foot and everybody saw that she was still warm. She wasn’t cold.’
The family believe that Ms Santos was declared dead in error have reported the incident to police.
Ms Santos’ sister, Isamara Almeida, said: ‘We don’t want to accuse any doctor, we don’t want to cause any problems, but we witnessed that situation, there’s just no way a person can be buried for 11 days and still be warm.’
Police chief Arnaldo Monte, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘We have today started to take statements from family members and other people.
‘If need be we will exhume Ms Santos’ body again so we can get to the bottom of what really happened.’
A spokesman for the Hospital de Oeste which declared her dead said they ‘will provide all necessary information requested from them to the family and authorities’.