A 25-year-old mother of three has died in a gruesome and unusual accident in Seville, Spain while being moved between floors in a hospital lift.
The Sun reports that Rocio Cortes Nunez was "sliced in half" while en route to a maternity ward on a stretcher after giving birth via cesarian section on August 20.
Her family said that a hospital porter had wheeled Nunez into a lift that didn't move even though its doors were able to open and close. As the staff member began transporting the stretcher out to swap lifts, the original lift began to operate and move upwards, trapping Nunez. Her exact injuries have not been officially confirmed, but initial reports claimed that she was decapitated by the moving lift.
Mercifully, Nunez's newborn daughter was not in the lift at the time, having been transported to a different hospital to receive treatment for a heart condition.
"We heard a loud blow in the elevator," Nunez's husband Jose Gaspar told Spanish publication El Correro. "I'm a total wreck."
"It's incredible," Nunez's brother-in-law David Gaspar said. "We still can't believe what's happened. Something has to happen. This cannot go unpunished."
Authorities are now investigating the incident, which took place at Virgen de Valme Hospital in the southern Spanish city of Seville, and a hospital manager has met with the firm responsible for the lift as well as Nunez's family and the porter who witnessed the accident.
Marina Alvarez, the health minister for the region, said at a press conference that the accident was "quick, unusual and tragic," and that the lift had undergone a recent maintenance check on August 12. Broadly reached out to the Andalucían health care authorities for further clarification, but they have not returned our request for comment.
Meanwhile, Nunez's mother is understandably shocked and distraught. "[Nunez] had given birth at 11 in the morning so I went to the [hospital] information desk," she told local publication Diario de Sevilla. "They told me there a young girl had died and then confirmed it was my daughter.
What a cruel death she's suffered."