One person dead after accident at University of Utah Hospital

Sep 15, 2021, 2:28 PM | Updated: 6:45 pm
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University Hospital in Salt Lake City. (KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — One person died on Wednesday on the west side loading dock of the University of Utah Hospital, just north of the School of Medicine.

Moving an MRI machine is a delicate and complicated process which normally happens outside of the hospital, itself.   University of Utah Hospital Service Lines and System Planning Executive Director Alison Flynn Gaffney says it involves strong scaffolds and it’s a process they’ve completed several times before.

She says, “The average MRI weighs approximately 20,000 pounds.”

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However, Flynn Gaffney says something went horribly wrong, in this case.  She says the MRI machine fell while being taken from the fourth floor to the first, and the contracted employee fell with it. 

“The Salt Lake City Fire Department has cleared the event and cleared our site.  So, no patient care, at any time, was impacted.  No other teams or teams or staff were impacted by the event,” she says.

The man was rushed to the emergency department, but died from his injuries.  As for why the machine fell, Flynn Gaffney says those details are still under the investigation, so she did not want to speculate.

“We will do all the due diligence and collect all the information possible,” she says, adding, “OSHA is also here, on site, in the active investigation.”

A second worker received minor injuries.  Flynn Gaffney says this is a somber day at the hospital, and she offered her condolences to the worker’s family.

“This was meant to be a milestone occasion for our team, and something that has been in the works for several years. We are incredibly saddened to learn that someone tragically died in this incident and our hearts go out to the family,” said Gaffney.

In a tweet, the Salt Lake City Fire Department said it was responding to an “industrial accident with injuries.”

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One person dead after accident at University of Utah Hospital