Greek woman feared 'buried alive' by accident after mourners hear cries for help from coffin

Police are investigating reports woman suffocated before rescuers reached her

Police in Greece are investigating reports suggesting a woman woke up in a coffin after being buried, only to suffocate to death before rescuers could reach her.

People visiting a cemetery in the town of Peraia, near Thessaloniki, on Thursday morning reported hearing banging sounds and muffled shouting from inside the woman’s grave, an hour after she had been buried.

They called the police who began digging up the grave to try and save her. However, she was found dead when they reached the coffin.

The 49-year-old woman had been declared dead by doctors treating her for cancer at a private Thessaloniki clinic early on Thursday morning.

A coroner is now expected to examine the body.

A doctor at the scene who checked the mother-of-two's body said she could not believe the woman was not dead when she was buried.

"As soon as the body was exhumed a cardiogram was conducted that confirmed the woman was dead," she was reported by The Guardian as saying.

“Her eyes, it is true, were open but the coroner can give an explanation for that."

The woman's relatives are now considering filing a complaint against the doctors treating her for cancer, Greek media reports.