The Trucker Who Landed Butt First On An Air Hose And Inflated Like A Balloon


James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockFeb 3 2022, 15:07 UTC
An air hose: best used on tires rather than humans.

An air hose: best used on tires rather than humans. Image credit: Antonio Guillem/

There are bad days, and then there are "I fell butt first onto an air hose and now I'm inflating like a balloon" days. In 2011, a trucker from New Zealand experienced the latter.


On May 21, 2011, Steven McCormack fell between the cab of his truck and the trailer behind it, and onto an air hose, breaking it. The nozzle entered his buttock and continued to pump air at the rate of 100 pounds per square inch (7.030688 kilogram-force per square centimeter).

"I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot," the then 48-year-old told AFP. "I was blowing up like a football... it felt like I had the bends, like in diving. I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon."

His colleagues heard his distress and turned off the hose, before laying him on his side, helping him to breathe. Unfortunately by that point, the compressed air had separated much of his fat from his muscle, causing an excruciating recovery in the nearby hospital of Whakatane.


The doctors informed him that they were surprised that the air had not broken his skin, given the damage that had been done to his body. His neck and head were swollen, and his lungs required draining while he was in intensive care. 


Recovering in hospital, he described his skin as feeling "like a pork roast", with crackling on the outside and soft squishy pork underneath. The doctors told him he was lucky to be alive and praised his colleagues who moved him onto his side to help him breathe. He made a full recovery, having slowly deflated in hospital while the medical team tended to his extensive wounds.

[H/T: Factsofw0rld/Twitter]

  • weird and wonderful