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Friday, September 11, 1998 Published at 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK


UK

Farmer cuts off arm with penknife

Baling: Not normally considered dangerous

A farmer cut off his own arm using a penknife after it became trapped in a baling maching, a hospital spokesman has said

Farmer John Mitson, 46, cut through his forearm using what he described as a "lady's penknife" because he thought he was going to be dragged into the baling machine and killed.

Mr Mitson was working on his smallholding near Stonham Aspal, in Suffolk, when the accident occured.

'Lost all feeling'

Communications Manager for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Trust, Peter Moffat, said: "He was out in the field when he decided there was something wrong with the baler.

"He stopped the tractor and went to have a look. He stumbled and put his arm out to break his fall and his arm got caught in the baling machine."

Mr Mitson's hand was stuck between two rollers and he felt there was a danger that he might be pulled bodily into the machine.

Mr Moffat said: "He called for help but nobody came, then after half to three-quarters of an hour he took it into his own hands, got out a pocket penknife and cut through his arm.

"By that time he had lost all feeling in the arm."

Half-mile walk for help

Mr Mitson managed to pull his severed arm free of the machine and walked half a mile with it to the nearest house, but doctors at Ipswich Hospital were unable to reattach it.

He was transferred to West Norwich Hospital where surgeons closed the wound.

Mr Mitson is recovering well from the accident which happened in mid-August. The details were only made public on Friday.



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