Tragedy: How lagos Doctor was ‘killed as elevator crashes from 10th floor’ of General hospital  * ‘I don’t want to die’, deceased cries in last moments  * NMA Declares Indefinite Strike  * Lagos govt probes death

By Fatai Ahmed


Tragedy occurred on Tuesday in Lagos Island as a female doctor identified as Vwaere Diaso reportedly died in an elevator accident at the state General Hospital

According to a Twitter user @lx_amara, the elevator fell from the 10th floor of the building while Vwaere was inside it.

“A doctor who had just 2 weeks to complete her housemanship just died in general hospital (Odan, Lagos island) due to poor management and negligence. The elevator she was in, fell from 10th floor to the ground! Video was so painful to watch,” a post on Twitter reads.

The deceased was said to have been on her way to the ground floor to pick up a food delivery from a dispatch rider when the incident happened.

It was said to have taken about one hour for the victim to be evacuated from the crashed elevator, after which she was rushed to the emergency room where she died.

The doctor was said to have been a Grady Babcock University graduate who had two weeks left to complete her housemanship.

Since news of the incident became public, some Nigerians have taken to social media to share their experiences about the hospital, particularly the faulty elevator.

In 2020, the medical guild tweeted about the elevator at the hospital, calling the attention of the Lagos state government to it.

“The doctors quarters at General hospital Lagos has 10 floors. It has a non-functional elevator and no running water,” the tweet reads.

“Doctors who live on the 10th floor including pregnant women climb the stairs multiple times daily.

“Are we going to wait till someone dies before things are done properly?”

The last moments of late doctor was captured by a colleague who narrowly escaped riding in the elevator with her.

The colleague, identified as Moye, said she was standing in front of the elevator and pressed the open button but didn’t enter because she was on a video call.

She said it wasn’t long after that when she heard a big crash to the floor which made the dispatch rider who brought food for Diaso to run out of the building.

The doctor said someone then raised the alarm that Vwaere was in the elevator, adding that they immediately began seeking help to bring her out of the elevator.

“They tried to use rods to open it, to be sure it wasn’t a joke. They finally opened it and the sight was gruesome. Muffled sounds of excruciating pain and agony became apparent,” she wrote.

“Her forehead had a horizontal cut, her mouth had another one and she had raccoon eyes. She was lying in between the base of the elevator and the ground floor with the engine hanging over her head which meant any miscalculation in movement, she’ll be crushed to instant death!

“She was literally sandwiched in between the hanging engine and below the ground floor with blood on broken glasses and fractured limbs. It’s not a sight to describe.”


The deceased’s colleague said engineers were called to dismantle the elevator, noting that it took almost 40 minutes for them to arrive.

“I remember telling her to relax that help is coming, she said “Don’t tell me to relax, tell them to get me out of here”. We eventually got her out and she kept saying she thinks she’ll die,” she wrote.

“Emergency care was almost zero and inside a hospital for that matter. There was no blood in the hospital.

“She was eventually wheeled out but she was already weak and kept saying ”I don’t want to die”. They commenced CPR and the finality of it all happened.”

Moye explained that the elevator has been a source of concern to the doctors for years but complaints were never attended to.

“I remember the last time we complained they said we should manage that in their time they were sleeping in call rooms during their housemanship days and we are lucky we have water, lift and rooms to live in and we aren’t grateful.

Following Diaso’s death, a protest rocked the hospital as her colleagues besieged the premises and grounded activities there.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as, “I don’t want to die,” “Doctors’ lives matter,” “Justice for Vwaere,” “The system failed you, Diaso,” and “Here is Vwaere Diaso, she didn’t have to die for us to get it right.”

Diaso’s protesting colleagues shut the hospital’s main gate, the health service commission’s gate, and the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital’s gate.

They expressed displeasure over the death of their colleague while accusing the hospital management of negligence.

A patient, who was at the hospital for a check-up said the medical workers also refused to attend to patients as they were all grieving.

The patient who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “I was at the hospital around 7 am. Nobody attended to us. Her colleagues began the protest around 9 am, moving around the hospital and paralysing activities. Other medical workers at the hospital also downed tools.”

Diaso’s colleague who also spoke with the media on condition of anonymity said the deceased only had two weeks to complete her horsemanship, adding that “on many occasions, the elevator had stopped while we were inside it.”

“We report every time. The elevator is supposed to carry 630kg maximum, that’s eight people. Once you open the elevator and see two people already, you just have to wait for the next batch. It was faulty and they knew about it. That’s why we’re not going to take this. She was a very diligent house officer. She was very hardworking,” he said.

A physician, Olanrewaju Ayepola, who took to her social media page while lamenting the incident, said she was aggrieved because complaints had been made about the elevator.

“(I am) particularly aggrieved because we’ve complained for a long time about this elevator. We’ve manoeuvred, managed and prayed each time we had to use it. Empty promises will be made to fix it till it killed one of us,” she wrote via @kristeana08 on X.

Another tweep, @kiky_festus, said at times, people had to use their hands to close the elevator’s door as it malfunctioned.

“I’m so angry because they have been complaining about this elevator for years. Even when I go visit my friend, more than two people can’t go in it and if it stops at the sixth floor, you have to use your hands to close it yourself and step back behind a line to even out your weight. All she wanted to do was get her food from a dispatcher downstairs. It even took them an hour to get her out of the elevator.

“She was still conscious even with fractures, she was taken to the emergency and then another delay – no blood. This country failed her,” the tweet read.

Reacting to Diaso’s death ,the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos branch, has directed medical doctors in three government hospitals on Lagos Island to embark on an indefinite strike

A statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of NMA in the State, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu and Dr Ajibowo Ismail, on Wednesday, said the decision was in protest of the death of the female doctor killed by an elevator crash.

NMA directed the doctors at the General Hospital, Odan; Lagos Island Maternity Hospital and Massey Street Children’s Hospital to embark on the strike until investigations into the cause of the death were completed and justice served.

“The information we got was that she was trapped in the elevator for more than 40 minutes before she was rescued.

“We were also reliably informed that there was no blood available for resuscitation, and this has become a recurring issue as a result of the review made by the Government on the previous policy on blood donation.

“To us, this was an avoidable death and it’s unfortunate that it was allowed to happen. We are pained and we are mourning.

“We are well aware that this same elevator has been a source of problem for many years during which several complaints had been made to all relevant agencies with no respite.

“It is very painful that at a time when the country is battling with unprecedented brain drain, a young colleague that would have been expected to attend to 6,000 Nigerians was allowed to die a needless death,” the statement read

It called for an immediate, unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident while urging “That all those found culpable in this matter, especially the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms Adenike Adekambi, are all brought to justice.”

NMA also directed all the doctors in other government hospitals in the State to scale down activities as a mark of respect for their dead colleague.

“Only emergency services should be rendered for the next five days,” it added.

The association appealed to the Government to urgently begin an overhaul of the house officers’ quarters on the Island and repair the infrastructure in all government hospitals that needed attention.

NMA also urged the Government to revamp the blood transfusion system in the State for improved services.

“We appeal to our colleagues to remain calm, as NMA Lagos State leadership is on top of the situation and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is not just served but seen to have been served,” the association said.

It commiserated with the family of the late doctor, her colleagues on the Island, Medical Guild and the body of doctors in the State while praying for the fortitude to bear the irreparable and unfortunate loss.

The Lagos State Government said it had set up a panel of inquiry to look into the circumstances surrounding the incident and promised to sanction anyone found culpable.

The government in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Olumide Sogunle, said it was shocked at the news of the incident.

Sogunle said, “An inquiry by a team of officials from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Lagos State Safety Commission, and certified Lift and Vertical Transportation Equipment experts has commenced.

“The Lagos State Government will ensure that anyone found negligent by the report of the inquiry will face appropriate sanctions.”

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also commiserated with the deceased’s family.

“In light of this tragedy, I have taken immediate action to initiate a thorough investigation into the cause of the mechanical failure,” the governor said in a statement via @jidesanwoolu on X.


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