Man dies after getting sucked into MRI machine at Mumbai hospital

Mr Rajesh Maru died after being sucked into an MRI machine in BYL Nair Charitable Hospital on Jan 27, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER VIA THE STATESMAN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MUMBAI - A 32-year-old man died after he got sucked into an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at a hospital in Mumbai on Saturday (Jan 27).

The man, identified as Mr Rajesh Maru, was carrying an oxygen cylinder as he accompanied his elderly relative into the MRI room at BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, reported The Statesman newspaper.

Mr Maru's brother-in-law, Mr Harish Solanki, said a ward boy told them it was fine to bring in the cylinder.

However, MRI machines use a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the body's organs. Metallic objects are pulled towards it and must not be carried into the room.

"When we told him that metallic things aren't allowed inside an MRI room, he said 'sab chalta hai, hamara roz ka kaam hai' (it's fine, we do it every day). He also said that the machine was switched off. The doctor as well as the technician didn't say anything," Mr Solanki said.

Eyewitnesses said Mr Maru was pulled into the machine with great force.

"As soon as Rajesh entered with the cylinder, it turned out that the machine was on. He was sucked in and his hand got stuck there. His body swelled up and he couldn't speak. It's because of their carelessness that Rajesh died," Mr Solanki was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Mr Maru was reportedly bleeding heavily when he was pulled away. He was rushed to the emergency ward where he died within 10 minutes.

Police said preliminary reports suggested that the man had died from inhaling liquid oxygen that leaked from the cylinder, reported AFP.

It is thought the cylinder was damaged after hitting the machine.

The state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, announced compensation of 500,000 rupees (S$10,255) for the victim's family.

A police case has been filed against the hospital's doctor Siddhant Shah, ward boy Vitthal Chavan and ward attendant Sunita Surve for causing death by negligence.

"We have arrested a doctor and another junior staff member under section 304 of the Indian penal code for causing death due to negligence," Mumbai police spokesman Deepak Deoraj told AFP on Monday (Jan 29).

Ramesh Bharmal, the dean of the hospital, told AFP that an investigation had been launched to determine the exact cause of death, adding CCTV footage of the incident had been handed over to police.

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