Man inflated ‘like a balloon’
A man who inflated “like a balloon” when he fell buttocks-first onto a compressed air nozzle was described as lucky to be alive yesterday. Steven McCormack was working on his truck in Opotiki on 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 said.
IMF candidate is too old
India’s top candidate for the vacant managing director role at the IMF has been ruled out because he is too old, New Delhi’s representative at the lender has said. IMF executive director Arvind Virmani said senior Indian economic adviser Montek Singh Ahluwalia was a fine candidate, but he was over the IMF’s age limit of 65. “He has excellent qualifications, but will not qualify because of the current bylaw of the IMF which states the candidate must be 65 years of age or below,” Virmani told India’s NDTV news channel in a broadcast aired yesterday.
Lawmaker found guilty
A lawmaker who allegedly said the country’s female broadcasters should be willing to offer sex to advance their careers was yesterday given a six-month suspended jail sentence. A group of female TV announcers had filed a lawsuit alleging that Kang Yong-seok, 41, was guilty of defamation, a criminal offense, after making lewd remarks. Kang reportedly made the comments while drinking with a group of female students last year. “TV broadcasters have to serve [their seniors] with all they have. Do you think you yourself can do that?” he reportedly asked one student, who expressed her wish to become a broadcaster.
Mongolians in protest march
A large group of ethnic Mongolians protested in front of a government building in the north of the country yesterday, angered by inaction over the death of a herder, a rights group said, in a rare instance of unrest by the minority ethnic group. The New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center said almost 2,000 students marched in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. They went “to urge the Chinese authorities to respect the rights and dignity of Mongolian herders” in Inner Mongolia, the group said in an e-mailed statement.