QUIRKY WORLD ... Man who swallowed 40 knives goes under knife

INDIA: Doctors in northern India have surgically removed 40 knives from the stomach of a man who had swallowed them over the past two months, one of the physicians said.

The 42-year-old man is recovering in a hospital in Punjab state after undergoing surgery in which doctors removed the knives — some folded and some with exposed blades up to 18 centimetres (7 inches) long.

Dr Jatinder Malhotra, who assisted during the five-hour operation, said the man, who works as a police constable, was apparently suffering from a psychiatric disorder and is being counselled.

Malhotra said he had never before heard of a case of a person swallowing knives.

“In my 20-year career, and in all the medical literature that we checked, there has never been a case like this one, where a person has swallowed not one, but 40 knives,” said Malhotra, a critical care doctor at the Corporate Hospital in the city of Amritsar.

The man told doctors that he could not explain his urge to swallow knives. “He told us he would swallow the knives along with a glass of water,” Malhotra said. “He had no explanation for why he did it. Just an urge.”

The man, who has not been identified, had come to the hospital two weeks ago complaining of severe pain in his abdomen.

“In an endoscopy, we saw a big mass in his abdominal area,” Malhotra said by phone. “We initially thought it was a tumor or some cancerous growth. But it was like nothing we doctors had seen before.”

A team of two surgeons, two critical care physicians and an anaesthetist conducted the surgery, during which they initially removed 28 knives. But further investigation revealed 12 more, the hospital said.

There was massive internal bleeding during the surgery because the knives, which were all made of iron, had lacerated the man’s stomach walls, Malhotra said.

Since the surgery, the man has told doctors that he can’t bear to look at another knife. “He even asked his wife to get out of the room when she was cutting some fruit for him,” Malhotra said.

Crocodile crime

AUSTRALIA: Australian police are searching for four men who left three malnourished saltwater crocodiles in a school, after breaking in to steal computer equipment.

Northern Territory Police said the men entered the Taminmin College in Humpty Doo, 40km south of Darwin, early on Sunday after pushing the crocodiles through a broken window.

CCTV footage released by police showed the men stealing a computer monitor before running away.

Parks and Wildlife rangers said the reptiles, who had their mouths taped shut, had probably been taken from a nearby crocodile farm but were unlikely to survive as they were in such poor health.

“Basically skin and bones, not much meat left on them; they were really quiet and easy to catch,” ranger Luke McLaren told ABC radio.

“We’ll determine what farm they’re from and we’ll try to take them back to that farm but looking at their condition it’s likely they’ll have to be destroyed.”

Delayed reaction

ENGLAND: An announcer built up a head of steam after a packed train was delayed as a result of a carriage window being broken.

The man initially apologised to staff on the South West Trains service running between Bournemouth in Dorset and London Waterloo on Sunday evening, before using a swearword and describing the vandals as “pond life with the intellectual capacity of a flip-flop”.

A South West Trains spokesman said: “Our staff are trained to keep passengers updated on issues affecting their journey. We would always expect this to be done in a professional manner using appropriate language.”

Crab is back

ENGLAND: A species of crab which had not been seen in Devon for more than 30 years has been found living on a popular stretch of coastline.

St Piran’s crab, which is also known by the scientific name Clibanarius erythropus, was found in Wembury Bay, near Plymouth.

The crab was a common sight along the south coast but rising pollution and sea temperatures saw the species, which is no more than 15mm long, decline.

Honest man

USA: A 27-year-old central Florida man is being recognised for his honesty after finding a wallet with $3,400 inside and turning it over to sheriff’s deputies.

An Orlando woman lost the wallet earlier this month while visiting the beach near Palm Coast with her children.

Kevin Miller said he knew someone was depending on that money and he’s glad it’s been returned to her. The woman’s name hasn’t been released. Miller says he really could have used the money but felt it was important to do the right thing.


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