Sunday, May 17, 2009

Naveen Sangji speaks out -- UCLA/Sheri Sangji update

The sister of Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji (the deceased in the UCLA/tBuLi case) has started a website about her sister's tragic death:
Sheri was 23 years old when she got severely injured in a lab fire at UCLA on Dec 29, 2008. After 18 excruciating days in an intensive care unit, Sheri lost her life to her injuries.
Our family is devastated. Our lives will never be what they were. As Sheri's family, friends, and loved ones, while we grieve for this unimaginable loss, we've been searching for answers. A Cal/OSHA investigation found three serious violations in the lab Sheri was working in, and fined UCLA almost $32,000. However, we still do not know exactly what happened that day.
With your support, we hope to get answers. Sheri was a young girl living life to the fullest- looking forward to a game of soccer, starting law school, a trip to the beach, hanging out with her friends, laughing- when it was cruelly cut short. No one should have to suffer the pain and horror Sheri suffered. No family should have to bear such a profound loss. Please help prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening to anyone else.
Sheri's friends have started a petition to get California legislators to support this quest for justice and reform. Please sign the petition here:
You can also write/call your legislators and the UCLA Chancellor (see link): What You Can Do
Thank you very much,
Naveen Sangji
As mentioned by Ms. Sangji, a petition site has been started to ask for a full investigation by the DA, accountability for "all those involved" (Prof. Harran, call your lawyer?) and legislation.


  1. There are a lot of surprising number of signatures for a petition that is barely a week old.

  2. I tend to agree, although I don't really have any relevant metrics to compare it to. But I'll take your word for it.

  3. I can understand why her family is upset, but accidents like this are not intentional. No one wants to say it, but most of the fault was probably hers.

  4. A3:32: In the following with the quantitative nature of this blog, are you sure about what you're saying? That you put "most of the fault" on her? If you were to place a numerical value on that fault, how much would it be?

  5. I only know what I've read online, but as a chemist who has done research in both industry and universities I feel that everyone is ignoring the fact that we are ultimately responsible for our actions.

    It is up to us to read MSDS, to ask questions, to ask for more information and training if we are not comfortable with procedures, to record everything in our notebooks, etc. We also have the right to refuse to perform a procedure that is unsafe, and we have the right to ask for corrective action in an unsafe environment.

    If she did not know these things, then she was not qualified for the job, and yes, it was all UCLA's fault for hiring her. However, I don't think this is the case.

    With that said, I think the investigation is a good idea. I think it will help improve lab safety and will give us the information we need to finally move on from this.

  6. I agree, it was her fault. The blame shall be put upon her for her own actions.

  7. Ok...why is the family mad at the professor? I work in a lab, and If I was working w/ a combustable chemical like t-butyl lithium, I would wear a whole lot more than a lab coat. Goddamn people, when are you gonna realize that you can't teach stupid. It was her fault in the first place. This is why I do not like working w/ foreigners in the labs, they have no regard for safety!

  8. I agree that, in the end, the responsibility was probably hers in this case. No amount of training will void the "I don't need PPE, nothing will happen to me" attitude so prevalent among the research community.

    As an aside, to the person who said "This is why I do not like working w/ foreigners in the labs, they have no regard for safety," for someone who supposedly works in science, your own sense of logic is astonishingly lacking.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20