Teenager killed by 98kg bar while training at the gym
A 15-year-old boy has sadly passed away after a 98kg (216lb) bar fell on his neck while he was doing weight training at his local gym. Ben Shaw, who was a keen sportsman, was trapped beneath the bar for up to half an hour before anybody found him.
The incident occurred last week at Pine Rivers PCYC gym in Brisbane, Australia, where he is understood to have been found pinned beneath the weighted equipment by another gym member.
The wife of the man who attempted to save Shaw spoke out about the incident to Seven News. She said,
‘When he got there it was quiet, there was nobody around and he was about to start his workout when he looked over and saw the 15-year-old boy just lying on the bench with a bar right across his neck. He grabbed the bar off his neck and yelled for help.’
After that, two members of gym staff arrived and began performing CPR until paramedics reached the scene. Unfortunately, despite everybody's best efforts, the young boy succumbed to his injuries three days later in hospital.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Pine Central Holy Spirit Hornets - the teenager's rugby league club - confirmed that Ben had died, but also noted that his organs had been used to save other lives, and that his memory would be cherished by all those at the club.
‘Yesterday afternoon they (the Shaw family) lost their beautiful Ben and has been able to leave a legacy by donating his tissue and organs to enable recipients have their lives saved and changed forever as a result.
‘As a club we will be assisting to see the world through Ben’s eyes and ensure his legacy lives on in support of his parent’s and family.’
This is not the first time somebody has been killed in a gym-related accident, either.
Two years ago, Dave Goldberg, a millionaire Silicon Valley executive and husband to Facebook's Chief of Operations, died after falling off a treadmill. The 47-year-old apparently tripped while exercising and cracked his head open, eventually dying from excessive blood loss.
Surprisingly, treadmills are the most dangerous type of gym equipment, as shown by a CBS report in 2011 that found the running machines caused approximately 19,000 trips to the ER - 6,000 of which involved children.
In Ben Shaw's case, an investigation has been launched in order to determine exactly how this could have been allowed to happen. Worksafe Queensland is conducting the inquiry, and the Pine Rivers gym has been closed until further notice.
Garry Humphries, the chair of the PCYC board, stood by the decision to investigate the incident, saying, 'I know people want answers and so do we.'
He also offered his condolences to the Shaw family. 'Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this very difficult time,' he said. 'Words are not enough to describe the sadness we feel for the Shaw family.'
The family themselves have yet to release a statement, but hopefully their loss will remind others to take caution when using gym equipment.