New Zealand Man Survives After a Meat Hook 'Caught' His Head

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By Reissa Su | August 21, 2014 9:47 AM EST

A man in New Zealand has survived after his head was impaled by a meat hook in a meat plant at Bay of Plenty. An ambulance with paramedics was called in response to the emergency. According to ambulance spokesman Norm Ngatai, a spreader or meat hook has "caught" a man in his 40s through the back of the head into his face.

REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
A man uses a knife to strip meat off a cow's skull in the "Cholojeros" zone next to the railway lines at Zona 18, in Guatemala City, May 6, 2014.

The man was rushed to Tauranga Hospital. A hospital spokesperson told reporters the man was in a "horrifying" situation. The man was still standing with the hook on his head for 90 minutes as emergency responders worked to free him.

Since the man was in a delicate condition, emergency staff had arranged a conference call with the clinical support desk and their medical adviser. They also sought the help of the crew at the scene. The ambulance spokesperson said the plan was to remove the man from the meat hook without risking his life.

After the plan was executed, the man was finally able to free his head from the meat hook. Ngatai said, the man remained conscious throughout the process. The ambulance staff had "numbed" him enough, so he can free himself.

Ivon Pilcher, a Te Puke volunteer fire brigade officer, said the hook went through his head via his ear and came out near his eye. The meat hook was stuck between his cheek muscle and skull bone. Despite his serious predicament, the man was in a "jovial mood."

Emergency responders said they were not sure how the man happened to get himself "hooked" but other people in the vicinity believed he was just standing when the incident occurred.

According to reports, Worksafe New Zealand will be investigating the incident. The Affco meat works plant in Paengaroa had declined to comment on the incident. However, a spokesperson for the company's corporate office said it will be conducting its own probe.

Reports said the man is now in a stable condition after doctors treated his injuries. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez / )
A man uses a knife to strip meat off a cow's skull in the "Cholojeros" zone next to the railway lines at Zona 18, in Guatemala City, May 6, 2014.
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