Prosecutor declines charges in Swedish MRI accident

By Philip Ward, staff writer

February 25, 2020 -- The specialist nurse who got sucked into an MRI scanner in Swedish Lapland in October 2019 will not face charges after a prosecutor decided there was insufficient evidence to take the case to court. The official investigation into the incident is now closed.

A report posted on 24 February by the Swedish national radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio revealed that Prosecutor Märta Warg ruled on Friday to close the preliminary investigation, as it could not be stated that the nurse "deliberately took a risk that could have caused serious danger of bodily injury to another person."

Prosecutor Märta Warg
Märta Warg has decided the injured nurse won't have to face a trial in court. Image courtesy of SVT.

The accident happened in a mobile MRI unit located outside Sunderby Hospital in Luleå that was owned and operated by Aleris. The nurse entered the mobile trailer while allegedly wearing a weighted vest and was sucked toward the scanner gantry. He lost consciousness and had to be freed through the efforts of security guards and the patient who was being scanned.

Gross negligence and deliberate risk-taking by the nurse could not be proved, stated Warg, the prosecutor at the Swedish National Environmental and Occupational Health and Social Affairs Unit who was responsible for the case, according to a 24 February report by SVT Nyheter, the Swedish national public TV broadcaster.

Peter Wallerström, an investigator at the police's environmental crime unit, confirmed to on 25 February that the case is now officially closed.

Prof. Dr. Hans Ringertz, PhD, professor emeritus at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, thinks the prosecutor has made the correct decision.

"I am no lawyer, but I assume that the accusation 'to create severe danger for another person' means that you do it on purpose," he told "Considering that the 'MR-nurse' was severely injured himself is probably the best defense. You do not create danger for another person on purpose in such a way that you get into much more danger than the other person. Thus, the case was probably rightfully dismissed."

Copyright © 2020

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