NBC10.com - Keith Jones
A construction accident at Temple University Hospital sent a beam plunging through a woman’s hospital room. NBC10’s Keith Jones talked to the patient and her outraged father.
A Philadelphia-area woman says a stay at the hospital turned into a near-death experience after an aluminum beam crashed through her room.
Sharadel Woods, who is diabetic, was staying at Temple University Hospital on Monday for treatment. As she was in her bed around 2 p.m., she says she suddenly felt the building shake. When she turned towards her window, she saw a large beam plunging towards her.
“I saw it bing through the glass and all the glass then shattered,” Woods said. “I literally almost passed out.”
Temple Health spokesman Jeremy Walter told NBC10 that the accident was caused by an ongoing demolition project at the hospital.
“While work was underway, an unexpected turn of a piece of concrete caused an aluminum beam to fall in the opposite direction than intended – thereby breaking and partially falling through the window of a patient room,” Walter wrote in a released statement.
Woods was not injured in the accident but was removed to another area of the hospital. Several other patients were also moved out of the area as a safety precaution.
Despite escaping physical harm, Woods says the terrifying ordeal still took a toll on her body, so much so that doctors needed to give her medicine to calm her down.
“They had to rush me out of the room,” Woods said. “I went into a panic attack and I don’t know what happened after that. I’m just waking up from the medicine they gave.”
After the crash, workers secured, cleaned and blocked off the area as officials assessed the damage.
Woods’ father, Robert Holiday, says he’s outraged by what happened.
“It’s ridiculous because you’re a patient in here,” Holiday said. “If something like that happens you don’t just board the room up, take the people out, put them on another floor and not contact anybody.”
Officials at Temple Health told NBC10 they would never put their patients in harm’s way.
“We extend our deepest apologies to the affected patient and her family; and thank them for their patience and cooperation as we continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and quality care of our patients,” Walter said.
Holiday and Woods say they plan on contacting a lawyer.
“There shouldn’t have been people on that side of the construction knowing that stuff can happen and people can get hurt and someone is going to be liable for that person who got hurt,” Woods said.
Hospital officials say they’re conducting an internal review of the incident.