The 46-year-old Chinese man, surnamed Zhang, was working at a construction site when he fell from a height of five meters on to the steel bar on June 14.

Firefighters were able to cut the bar and took him to the hospital. An X-ray showed that the steel bar had only just missed his skull, trachea, heart, carotid artery and liver, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhang has been admitted to Shandong University's Qilu Hospital in Jinan. "This is a very rare accident," Sang Xiguang, head of the emergency surgery department said.

Surgeons from nine departments worked with firefighters to remove the bar from the man's body. The emergency operation took more than seven hours.

He was wheeled out of the operating room and transferred to intensive care unit. "Luckily the bar barely touched his vital organs," said Zhang Yuan, attending doctor of the neurosurgery department, "The wound was so large, he might not have made it if he was
in poor health."

"One wrong move, and the operation would have failed," he said. "Everyone was exhausted by the end of the seven hours surgery," Sang said.

The man is now stable, doctors said, but he will remain under close observation for two weeks as the risk of infection is high. "We will try our best to help him recover," said Sang.

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