Robot factory impales man with steel tips after malfunction


A Chinese worker has survived being stuck with 10 metal prongs when a robot breaks down.

The 49-year-old man, named Zhou, worked night shift at a porcelain factory in Hunan province when he was hit by a falling robotic arm.

The accident resulted in him being impaled with metal rods half an inch in length, People's Daily reported.

He was first taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the Xiangya Hospital of the South Central University due to the seriousness of his injuries.

Six steel bars fixed on a steel plate pierced his shoulder and right chest, and four penetrated into other parts of his body.

During the operation, doctors found that one of the rods missed an artery in only 0.1 mm. The rods also prevented doctors from performing X-rays before the operation.

"They were relatively large so there was no way to fit the patient into the X-ray machine while the nails themselves could cause interference with X-rays," said Wu Panfeng, associate professor of hand microsurgery.

The surgeons worked at night to remove all the rods from Zhou's body.

His condition is now described as stable and he will undergo treatment and physical therapy to aid his recovery, and he is already able to move the right arm.

Zhou was fortunate not to suffer the same fate as the American worker Wanda Holbrook. The maintenance technician was killed by a rogue robot who entered the area where he was working and crushed his head.

The 57-year-old man was inspecting machines in an area where the components were assembled when the robot "caught Wanda by surprise, entering the section where she worked," court documents filed at the time.

In 2015, another auto worker, this time in Germany, was also killed by a robot.

The unidentified 22-year-old man was part of a team that was mounting the stationary robot at a Volkswagen factory when he grabbed it and crushed it against a metal plate.

Last year, a construction worker survived miraculously after being electrocuted, dumped from his work station and then impaled by the anus by a four-foot steel bar.

Yang Ming, 37, had accidentally touched electric wires at a construction site and the shock made him fly backward over the protruding metal rod.

Rescue teams left the pole inside and took him to the hospital, so the surgeons were able to carry it out.

Ming had to undergo seven hours of surgery at the Western China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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