Air Hose Blows Trucker Up 'Like a Balloon'

NZ driver survives freak accident
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 12:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A New Zealand trucker was "blown up like a balloon" in a freak air hose accident—and lived to tell the tale. Steven McCormack slipped on the plate between his truck's cab and trailer, ripping the hose away from the compressed air reservoir that powered his rig's brakes. The exposed nozzle pierced his buttock and pumped air into his body, which expanded dramatically, reports the BBC. "I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot," McCormack says.

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"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 says. The trucker's colleagues heard his cries and came to the rescue, turning off the air and placing him on his side so he could breathe. Doctors say the air separated fat from muscle and they're amazed his skin didn't burst. McCormack, who is now recovering in hospital, says his skin "feels like a pork roast"—hard and crackly on the outside but soft underneath. (Read more truckers stories.)

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