Hospital worker died after dropping 60kg barbell on his stomach

Babatunde Plumptre died in September 2017

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A hospital IT worker died when gym equipment collapsed and he dropped a 60kg weight onto his stomach, an inquest has heard.

Babatunde Plumptre suffered lacerations on his liver and spleen while using a Smith weight machine which collapsed under him at Better Gym in south east London in 2017.

He said he didn’t need an ambulance before being found in the changing rooms rolling on the floor in pain.

Medics arrived and performed open heart surgery, but the 39-year-old was pronounced dead later that day.

A five-day inquest is investigating whether anyone is to blame for the death.

It will hear from the gym’s managers, the company that supplied the equipment, and the London borough of Bexley’s health and safety department.

Better Gym in Bexleyheath, south east The gym Mr Plumptre attended

Gym user Gary Grant said he was on-site when the incident took place.

“The gentleman appeared to drop the weight bar, this drew my attention. It took the gentleman about a minute or two to get his breath and then he went into the changing room,” he said.

“He said the bench had collapsed and that it had crushed his ribs.”

He added: "I asked him if he wanted me to ring anyone and he said no. I asked again and he replied no.”

PC Ian Talletts said CCTV showed Mr Plumptre dropping the barbell.

“Initial reports from staff indicated the male had been lifting around 60kg on a Smith machine and had dropped the bar while his arms were at full extension… the viewing of the CCTV confirmed this account,” he said.

Forensic pathologist Robert Chapman said the cause of death was haemorrhage and multiple organ failure.

Read more

Female bodybuilder apologises for fat-shaming woman in London gym

Fitness trackers could stop you losing weight, says leading professor