A Chinese baby boy who had been declared dead was saved from being cremated alive when he started crying at a funeral parlour, media reported Thursday.

The parents of the critically-ill boy, who was less than one month old, had agreed to end his medical treatment at Anhui Provincial Children's Hospital in eastern China, hospital sources told Xinhua state news agency.

A death certificate was issued before the baby was sent to a funeral parlour in Hefei, the provincial capital -- only for staff there to be alerted by crying on Wednesday.

It was unclear how long he had been at the funeral parlour, or when his cremation had been due.

The baby was immediately sent back to the hospital, several news outlets including the Beijing News reported on Thursday.

"Because the baby still had life signs, we continued to give him transfusion to maintain his life for humanitarian reasons," a hospital staff member told Xinhua.

The baby was born with a "congenital respiratory system malformation", the report added.

The baby was receiving treatment at the hospital late Wednesday, reports said.

A doctor was suspended, a nursing worker laid off and an investigation launched into the incident, the hospital said, according to Xinhua.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • In this Tuesday, May 28, 2013 photo, baby No. 59, so named because of his incubator number in the hospital, rests in the incubator in a hospital in Pujiang county, in eastern China's Zhejiang province. The mother of the Chinese newborn trapped in a sewer pipe in a stunning ordeal caught on video had raised the initial alarm and was present for the entire two-hour rescue but did not admit giving birth until confronted by police, reports said Wednesday. (AP Photo)

  • A nurse feeds milk to the 2.3-kilogram (five-pound) baby who was stuck in a toilet pipe for two to three hours, sleeps in an incubator at the Pujiang People's Hospital on May 29, 2013, where nurses dubbed him 'Baby No 59' after the machine's number. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Medical personnel attend to the 2.3-kilogram (five-pound) baby who was stuck in a toilet pipe for two to three hours, sleeps in an incubator at the Pujiang People's Hospital on May 29, 2013, where nurses dubbed him 'Baby No 59' after the machine's number. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The 2.3-kilogram (five-pound) baby who was stuck in a toilet pipe for two to three hours, sleeps in an incubator at the Pujiang People's Hospital on May 29, 2013, where nurses dubbed him 'Baby No 59' after the machine's number. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • In this Tuesday, May 28, 2013 photo, a nurse checks on baby No. 59, so named because of his incubator number in the hospital, in Pujiang county, in eastern China's Zhejiang province. (AP Photo)

  • In this Tuesday, May 28, 2013 photo, a nurse feeds baby No. 59, so named because of his incubator number in the hospital, in Pujiang county, in eastern China's Zhejiang province. (AP Photo)