A 32-year-old man was killed when he was accidentally sucked into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner at an Indian hospital on Saturday.
Rajesh Maru was carrying an oxygen cylinder for an ailing relative when he was pulled into the machine by its magnetic force at Nair Hospital in Mumbai.
It is believed Maru died after inhaling an excessive amount of liquid oxygen that leaked from the cylinder when it struck the scanner.
The Times of India reports an inquiry has been ordered to determine why the cylinder was in the MRI room where metal objects are prohibited.
Maru’s brother-in-law Harish Solanki told the newspaper: “Upon reaching the MRI section, we were asked by an attendant to remove all metallic objects such as belts, wallets and pins.”
But he claims a ward boy then asked the family to take the oxygen cylinder into the room.
He added: “We hesitated and my niece Priyanka even mentioned that the cylinder was metallic. But the ward boy said the machine wasn’t on. Maru took the cylinder in, which was sucked towards the machine by its magnetic force. Maru got dragged along.”
Jignesh Thakker, the general secretary of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association told The Indian Express: “We usually have to call in the company technician if anything gets sucked into the MRI machine, the impact is such. It is not easy to pull anything out immediately.”
Mumbai police spokesman Deepak Deoraj told AFP that as well as detaining the ward boy: “We have arrested a doctor and another junior staff member under section 304 of the Indian penal code for causing death due to negligence.”
Hospital dean Ramesh Bharmal told the agency an investigation has been launched to determine the exact cause of death and that CCTV footage had been handed over to the authorities. Speaking to NDTV, he added: “It is a tragic accident and we will cooperate with police.”
An MRI is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of inside the body. The scanner is a large tube containing powerful magnets.
In 2001 a six-year-old boy died after undergoing an MRI scan in New York when the machine’s powerful magnetic field jerked a metal oxygen tank across the room, crushing his head.