VIDEO: Interview & Digital Re-Enactment Of The Event
NOTE: It’s not all in English, but it paints a pretty good picture of what might have happened… Give us your take on the freak accident in the comments below!
In May 2011, a truck driver in New Zealand experienced a bizarre and life-threatening accident. Steven McCormack, 48, slipped and fell from his truck’s foot plate, breaking the hose, and landing on the brass valve connected to the semi’s airbrakes. The nozzle pierced his left buttocks and that’s when things started to get interesting… and terrifying.
According to doctors, the embedded nozzle began pumping air from the tanks into his body, separating fat from muscle, and filling the space with air at 100 pounds per square inch.
By the time co-workers responded to McCormack’s cries for help and released the safety valve, the air tank was nearly half empty. The force of the air pressure had inflated his leg, chest, and face, and fluid had begun filling his lungs, putting pressure on his heart. Emergency crews were dispatched shortly after, but found it difficult to treat McCormack, because the air pressure inside of his body expelled the IV needles.
It took nearly three days for McCormack to ‘deflate’ to his natural size, but he made full recovery.
So how did all those remaining air bubbles in his body disappear? McCormack explains: “You can’t turn a tap on and let it out,” he told 3News. “You just have to burp it out, or fart it out.”