New mother killed by hospital lift during transportation between wards

A new mother has passed away shortly after giving birth, after a hospital elevator malfunctioned, resulting in the woman being horrifically decapitated. Her baby was with her at the time of the accident, but is said to be unharmed.

In the Our Lady of Valme Hospital in Seville, southern Spain, 25-year-old Rocio Cortes Nunes had just given birth via caesarean section to her third daughter Triana, after five-year-old Carmen and Rocio, who is four. She was on her way to the maternity ward to recover and spend time with her new child.

Rocio Cortes Nunes Credit: Facebook

Travelling from one ward to another via elevator, disaster struck at around 2:30 pm local time on Sunday August 20. A hospital porter reportedly in charge of moving Rocio Cortes Nunes between floors was in the process of switching elevator, after the elevator had opened and closed its doors twice without moving. He started to take Nunes out, but the elevator reportedly began to move up before the stretcher carrying Nunes could be fully removed.

Firefighters reportedly took around two hours to remove Nunes' body from the elevator, with her head being trapped between the lift frame and the roof, leaving her legs dangling in the elevator shaft. Although duty medics did their best to save the mother-of-three, she died from her injuries at the scene. There is thought to have been a mechanical fault with the elevator machinery at the hospital.

seville hospital Credit: Google Street View

Her family is unsurprisingly devastated at the freak accident that occurred at the hospital. Nunes' husband, waiter Jose Gaspar, pledged that "this cannot be the end". He said: "This time it has been Rocio but tomorrow it could be another person. I’m a total wreck."

Her brother-in-law David Gaspar also added to the sentiment that this incident is not yet over, saying: "It’s incredible. We still can’t believe what’s happened. Something has to happen. This cannot go unpunished." Meanwhile, Nunes' mother Carmen revealed that she had first heard about the situation after an accident had been reported in the lift.

"My heart missed a beat. I asked after my daughter but no-one was telling me anything. She had given birth at 11 in the morning so I went to the information desk. They told me there a young girl had died and then confirmed it was my daughter. What a cruel death she’s suffered."

alt Credit: Facebook

Seville's regional health minister Marina Alvarez described Nunes' passing as "quick, unusual and tragic", and called for an investigation into the lift's malfunction. She noted that the lift had undergone checks on August 12, and it reportedly "had passed all the controls and complied with the regulations" a little over a week ago.

Hospital manager Silvia Calzon has met with Nunes' family and the firm in charge of carrying out the lift checks, as well as the hospital porter involved in the accident.

alt Credit: Google

In the meantime, newborn Triana has been transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Virgen del Rocío in the same city. She was reportedly on the way to receive treatment for a heart condition at the time of the incident.