The New Stuff

Compressed Air From Truck Inflates Driver Like A Balloon

WELLINGTON, New Zealand ~ ( ~ It may sound like something from a cartoon, A truck driver was inflated like a balloon when he fell on a compressed air nozzle.

48-year-old driver Steven McCormack was standing on the foot plate of his commercial truck on May 21st when he slipped and fell, and in the process broke loose an air hose fitting on the compressed air tank which controls the truck's brakes. The brass fitting lodged in his left buttcheek and began pumping air into McCormack's body at 100 pounds per square inch. "I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot," he said from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane, on North Island's east coast, "I was blowing up like a football," he added, "I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon."

Truck company owner & boss Robbie Petersen said other workers heard McCormack's screams and quickly ran over to release the safety valve and shut off the airflow. Petersen also noted that the incident was "a million-to-one freak accident". Felling very lucky to be alive, McCormack said his skin felt like a pork roast during the ordeal, cracking on the outside yet soft underneath. A spokesman at Whakatane Hospital Intensive Care Unit confirmed the details of McCormack's near-death experience and told reporters it could've turned fatal, adding he was lucky to be alive after such a potentially life-threatening accident.

Photo credit: Associated Press

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