A man has died after being sucked into an MRI scanner at a hospital in India. Police in Mumbai said Rajesh Maru, 32, was pulled towards the machine by its magnetic force after entering the room at Nair Hospital carrying an oxygen cylinder.
Preliminary reports suggest he died from inhaling liquid oxygen. It is thought the cylinder was damaged after hitting the machine. Mr Maru, who had been visiting a relative on Saturday night, was asked to carry the cylinder by a junior member of staff who assured him the scanner was switched off, his uncle claimed.
“We are shocked and devastated,” Jitendra Maru said. “The ward boy who was supposed to prevent such incidents told my family members to go inside when the machine was turned on.”
Metallic objects must not be carried into rooms containing MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners because they use a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the body’s organs. Mumbai police spokesman Deepak Deoraj said a doctor and a junior member of staff had been arrested “under section 304 of the Indian penal code for causing death due to negligence”.
Dean of the hospital, Ramesh Bharmal, said an investigation to determine exact cause of death was underway, adding that CCTV footage had been handed to police. Mr Maru’s family will receive 500,000 rupees (£5,580) in compensation from the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.
It is not the first time that MRI scanners have caused death and injury. Two hospital workers were injured after getting pinned between an MRI machine and a metal oxygen tank for four hours at a hospital in New Delhi in 2014.
And in 2001, a six-year-old boy who was having an MRI scan in New York was killed when a metal oxygen tank flew towards the machine and crushed his skull.