Washington Man Survives Wood-Chipper Mangling

A man has survived a freak trip through an industrial machine similar to a wood chipper.

Frank Arce, 23, of Washington state, is recovering in hospital and said he felt lucky to be alive.

"There's no way I should be here right now," he said.

Mr Arce suffered crushed bones and battered organs.

He was working as a general labourer at the Swanson Bark and Wood Products Co in Longview, Washington, late last week when he climbed up on a drum to remove a piece of jammed wood.

According to what he and his mother Brenda said, Mr Arce fell through a hole into a "porcupine" device, which uses eight-inch blades and other instruments to break up pieces of bark.

The machine at that point was turned off. But a co-worker, unaware someone was trapped in it, switched it back on.

Mr Arce said he was in the machine for only seconds before a device operator heard screams and shut it down. But the lower half of his body was already mangled.

"After I went through the machine and everything got shut down, I was sitting there, waiting, and I didn't want to look at the wounds," he said.

"I didn't know if I was going to make it or if I was going to pass on that day."

He suffered seven broken ribs, a broken pelvis, a broken knee, a shattered ankle, a collapsed lung, a bruised liver and permanent nerve damage, his mother said.

It is unclear if he will be able to walk and move normally again.

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