02 September 2009
Man, cut in half by vehicle accident, talks to bystanders
I debated whether to post this; the graphic nature will offend some viewers, who are advised not to click on the video if the still image is disturbing.
On the other hand the violence itself is not shown - just the aftermath. And it's real - not a video or movie FX. Such accidents have happened in industry since Victorian times, and most likely on medieval and prehistoric battlefields before that. Survivial for even a brief period requires a crushing injury rather than a cutting one - an event that seals the aorta and vena cava. The event also documents the remarkable role of endogenous opioid endorphins.
The video is unutterably sad for the man's activities - his futile efforts to close the wound or rebutton his shirt, and for the (lack of) activity of the bystanders, although it's hard to know what practical responses they could have made.
The man reportedly died shortly after being loaded into an ambulance.
Update: A similar case with a better outcome -
The photo is of Peng Shulin, who was cut in half by a large transport truck in 1995. More details at this link. I'm still trying to figure out whether this is the same man as in the video, but even if it's not, his case shows that survival is possible despite the overwhelming trauma - a testament to the resilience and recuperative power of the human body and spirit.
A tip of the hat to roydgriffin for finding the link to Peng Shulin's story.
Second update: The second man is apparently different from the first one.
Third update: A November 2009 report on further progress by Peng Shulin, who has now opened his own bargain supermarket - a "half-price" store.