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N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

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N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

Post  mara thon on Wed 25 May - 12:13

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/n-z-truckie-blew-balloon-freak-accident-022506215.html

..A New Zealand truck driver who inflated "like a balloon" when he fell buttocks-first onto a compressed air nozzle was described as lucky to be alive Wednesday.

Steven McCormack was working on his truck at Opotiki on the North Island on Saturday when he slipped between the cab and the trailer, dislodging the compressed air hose that feeds the brakes, the Whakatane Beacon reported.

It said the brass fitting that the hose had been attached to pierced McCormack's left buttock in the fall, sending compressed air rushing into his body.

The 48-year-old said he felt as if he was going to explode and began to scream as his neck, feet and hands swelled up.

"I was blowing up like a football... it felt like I had the bends, like in diving. I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon," he told the newspaper.

Workmates rushed to McCormack's aid, turning off the compressed air and packing ice around his swollen neck.

Ambulance officers removed the brass nozzle from his buttock and rushed him to Whakatane Hospital, where a surgeon treated the injury and drained one of his lungs, which had filled with fluid during the ordeal.

McCormack said doctors later told him that the air separated fat from muscle and they were surprised his skin did not burst.

Now recuperating in Whakatane Hospital, he told the Beacon his skin felt "like a pork roast", hard and crackly on the outside but soft underneath.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed details of the freak accident, which she said could have killed McCormack.

"It's fair to say he's lucky to be alive, it was a potentially life-threatening situation," she told AFP on Wednesday.
...

mara thon
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Re: N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

Post  Angelique on Wed 25 May - 14:42

mara thon

This is a terrible accident. How absolutely awful. I do hope he makes a complete recovery.

Something similar but opposite happened to a work colleague of mine - I am not all that conversant with air brakes and stuff like that but he was releasing either the air brake or an attachment that was using the air pressure point to take some equipment off a tractor and it sucked his finger "in" trouble was he couldn't pull it out and couldn't reach the ignition to turn it off. I am not sure how he managed to free himself, I think someone came along and helped him.

I hope that H & S kicks in the prevents something like this happening again.

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Re: N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

Post  mara thon on Wed 25 May - 15:26

I can't begin to imagine what that poor man must have suffered Angelique, compressed air can be very dangerous. I hope your work colleague was okay.

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Re: N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

Post  Panda on Wed 25 May - 16:53

I can"t begin to imagine the Terror and pain the guy must have felt and hope he recovers well.

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Re: N.Z. truckie 'blew up like balloon' in freak accident

Post  Angelique on Tue 31 May - 23:01

mara thon

Yes he recovered although his finger was a revolting colour for a while - lucky chap - but then he could have lost a finger! Doesn't bear thinking about.

I too hope the truck driver recovers well.

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