Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are dangerous. Doctors and technicians go to great lengths to prevent accidents by removing any objects that might be attracted to the machines’ enormous electromagnets. Still, accidents happen, as one hospital found out when a technician carrying a steel oxygen tank got caught in the magnetic field of its MRI machine.
The Indian man made a fatal mistake when he stopped in to visit a sick relative. Rajesh Maru, 32, was into the MRI machine by its magnets after he entered the room while holding an oxygen cylinder.
“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 said.
“The incident occurred on Saturday night at Nair Hospital,” The Daily Mail writes.
In a strange twist, the initial reports about the accident say the man killed by the force of the impact, but from inhaling the liquid oxygen that leaked from the ruptured tank.
“Ramesh Bharmal, the dean of the hospital, said an investigation had been launched to determine the exact cause of death, adding that CCTV footage of the incident had been handed over to police,” The Mail writes.
The danger posed by the magnet was understood, but a junior staff member had asked that Maru carry the canister in. Both believed that the machine was off, and therefore safe.
“The ward boy who was supposed to prevent such incidents told my family members to go inside when the machine was turned on. We are shocked and devastated,” Jitendra Maru, the man’s uncle, said.
This isn’t the first incident in an Indian hospital. “In 2014 two hospital workers sustained injuries when they were pinned between an MRI machine and a metal oxygen tank for four hours at a hospital in New Delhi,” the Mail notes.
The risk exists in American hospitals, too. “In 2001, a six-year-old boy undergoing an MRI scan in New York was killed when a metal oxygen tank flew towards the machine and crushed his skull.”