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A new mum in Spain has died after reportedly being cut in half by a hospital lift. The victim, identified by local reports as 26-year-old Rocio Cortes Nuñez, had just given birth via caesarean section when she died in a freak accident at the Valme Hospital in Seville.

According to local reports, Cortes was on a stretcher when the lift suffered mechanical failure and went up one level from second to the third floor of the hospital. She was being taken to a maternity unit after waking up from her C-section around 2:30 p.m. local time Sunday.

The lift apparently opened and closed twice before the stretcher even entered it. The lift then moved upwards before the stretcher was fully inside the elevator. A hospital porter allegedly said that he was unable to pull Cortes to safety. The patient, according to witnesses, was literally divided into two as her head was trapped between the lift frame and roof while her feet were dangling in the shaft. It reportedly took fire-fighters two hours to reach her mangled body.

Spanish news paper El Correo said Cortes was also a mother of two girls, aged 3 and 4. Her newborn daughter was transferred to the Virgen del Rocio Children’s Hospital and was not harmed.

Cortes’ family were waiting on the upstairs flow when they heard a blow. They tried to get to the lift but the area had already been cordoned off.

"It’s incredible. We still don’t believe them," Cortes’ brother-in-law David Gaspar said, adding that his brother, the victim’s husband, was “devastated” by the tragedy. “Something has to be done. This cannot go unpunished.”

The regional government of Andalusia has released a statement saying that the elevator’s last inspection was on Aug. 12 by the company in charge of its maintenance. Cortes’ body was moved to San Jeronimo where the autopsy is expected to begin Monday. An investigation is ongoing.