Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil man survives steel rod through head

A Brazilian construction worker has survived after a 2m (six-foot) steel rod fell from above and pierced his head, doctors who treated him say.

Eduardo Leite was taken to a Rio de Janeiro hospital, where the rod was removed after five hours of surgery.

The doctors said Mr Leite, who is expected to spend some two weeks under their care, had responded well to surgery.

He narrowly escaped partial paralysis and loss of an eye, they added.

The rod is said to have fallen from the fifth floor of a building under construction.

It pierced Mr Leite's hard hat, then the back of his skull, before exiting between his eyes.

Luiz Alexandre Essinger, chief of staff at the Miguel Couto hospital, said Mr Leite was conscious when he arrived there and explained what had happened to him.

"He was taken to the operating room, his skull was opened, they examined the brain and the surgeon decided to pull the metal bar out from the front in the same direction it entered the brain," he said.

Mr Leite had "few complaints" after the surgery, Mr Essinger added, saying "it really was a miracle" that he survived.