May 27, 2020 11:20:06 pm
A 45-YEAR-OLD employee was reportedly killed in an elevator accident inside St George’s Hospital on Wednesday morning.
The deceased was identified as Geeta Waghela. According to police, she was taking the lift from the ground floor to the first floor when the accident took place. St George’s is a dedicated Covid hospital allocated to treat critically ill patients. The British-made lift in the heritage building is several decades old, and has a small one-foot-wide window in it.
According to police, hospital officials suspect Waghela either tried peeping out or spitting out tobacco from the window when her hair got entangled between the lift and the shaft.
“She suffered a head injury, we suspect she died on the spot,” said medical superintendent Dr Akash Khobragade.
Police said her body was found inside the lift on the second floor at 10.45 am after a ward boy opened the door. A post-mortem showed that her chin and neck had suffered deep wounds and her scalp was hit, police added.
Waghela was working as a cleaner at St George’s since 2015. State officials said her son, aged 18, will be offered her post as compensation. Her body was handed over to her family by Wednesday night.
The lift, Khobragade said, was serviced last week. “The electrical department has been asked to submit a report. The lift is functioning well, but police have asked us not to use it for now,” Khobragade said.
The hospital on Wednesday delayed its plan to start a ward with 20 new ventilators. A medical officer said the entire hospital staff was in shock. “Such an accident has never happened before. We still don’t understand why she would have tried to look through the window,” a medical officer said.
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