A New Zealand truck driver who inflated “like a balloon” when he fell buttocks-first onto a compressed air nozzle is being described as lucky to be alive.
While working on Saturday, Steven McCormack slipped between the cab and the trailer of his truck and was impaled in the thigh by a high-pressure air cylinder which saw his body pumped full of compressed air.
The 48-year-old Bay of Plenty truckie told the Whakatane Beacon 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 said.
Workmates rushed to Mr McCormack’s aid, turning off the compressed air and packing ice around his swollen neck.
Ambulance officers removed the brass nozzle 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.