The body of a 61-year-old patient has been found in the ceiling some days after undergoing a surgery at Paarl provincial hospital in Cape Town.

According to provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever, the man was admitted to Paarl Hospital, Cape Town on October 5 and underwent abdominal surgery.

However, he disappeared after a nurse, who had been attending to him, left to fetch clean linen.

A search party and the South African Police Services (SAPS) were unable to find him.

“Sadly, the patient’s body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling, which is difficult to reach. There is currently construction work being carried out at the hospital which also contributed to the difficulty of the search.

The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling are currently being investigated,” Van der Heever said in a statement.

The department has conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family and is expected to meet with them once an autopsy report has been released.

The report will be discussed with the family.

The family has been offered trauma and counselling services.

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