Woman loses arm in shocking laundry accident, accuses boss of trying to save machine

A Ukrainian woman who lost her arm in a washing machine accident at a Polish laundrette claims the manager cared more about preventing damage to the equipment than his employee’s wellbeing when medics arrived to cut her free.

Alyona Romanenko from the town of Lutsk in western Ukraine fell victim to the malfunction while working in a laundrette in Poland’s Lubon. The incident, which took place in December, emerged in the media this week after Romanenko shared her shocking experience in a video released by her husband on YouTube. The transcript of her story was initially published by Volyn24 news.

The woman, who said she came to Poland to work, says the machine she was operating would often break down. She also said she had not received any professional training when she started working there. The only recommendation she was given was to take knotted sheets out of the machine and untie them – advice, she says, that cost her an arm.

On the day of the incident she noticed a knot in the sheets and leaned in to untie them. However, due to glitch, her arm was sucked into the drum of the washing machine. “I screamed very loudly,” said Romanenko, recalling the horrible experience.
Medics arrived in 10-15 minutes and administered anesthetics, but the severe pain just didn’t go away. “The pain was just terrible,” Romanenko says. At that time she realized she had lost part of her arm in the drum, but she was still unable to pull it from the machine.

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Masked Ukrainian nationalists © Ivan Chernichkin

However, when medics and rescuers were about to cut the machine apart to free the woman, the owner of the laundrette protested – apparently because he did not want to damage the washer. Alyona said she had to wait nearly an hour for workers to open the machine and remove her severely damaged arm.

Medics could not save the woman’s arm and it had to amputated at the elbow. Alyona says she hasn’t received compensation from the laundrette. “They said they would help. But these were just words,” claimed the Ukrainian, who has since undergone several surgical procedures. Management even fired several witnesses, she claimed.

RT has reached out to Alyona’s husband, as well as police in Lutsk and Lubon. They are yet to respond.

Poland, Ukraine’s closest European neighbor, is the destination for many crisis-hit Ukrainians in search of work. Up to two million Ukrainians are now working in Poland, according to Reuters estimates. Earlier in January, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Ukrainians working in Poland are saving the Polish economy.

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