Teen impaled on fence

A section of Intermediate Normal School's fence in South Street was removed after a youth impaled his arm.
A section of Intermediate Normal School's fence in South Street was removed after a youth impaled his arm.

A friend of a teenager who impaled himself on a metal fence propped him up until emergency services arrived.

The teen, who St John said was about 18, was taken to Palmerston North Hospital in a serious condition after getting his arm spiked by a fence about 5.40pm on Saturday.

Firefighters cut several bars off the fence to free him. He was then taken by St John to the hospital with part of the fence still in his arm.

The blue metal fence was part of the South St entrance to Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School.

A resident of the street who did not want to be named said the victim was part of a group of four boys and one girl, who had been climbing out of the school when the incident took place.

The boy was the fourth in the group to climb over the fence.

The resident said the boy’s right arm became stuck on the fence while his body remained on the school side of it.

The teen who was still inside the school held him up until emergency services arrived several minutes later, he said.

‘‘It would have been painful,’’ the witness said.

The witness lives near the Ferguson St end of South St, some 100 metres from the accident scene, but said he could hear the boy’s yells clearly from his house.

Palmerston North Fire Brigade station officer Mark Cooper said two fire engines responded to the incident and firefighters used tools on board to cut the fence and free the teen.

A motorist who drove past the incident before St John arrived said it was instantly clear something was wrong. He pulled over and saw the boy stuck on the fence being propped up by a friend.

‘‘It didn’t look pleasant when I drove past,’’ he said.

The motorist said he was impressed with how quickly firefighters freed the boy.

‘‘Man, he was screaming when they were taking the fence out.’’

Palmerston North Hospital spokesman Dennis Geddis said yesterday the teen was recovering in a ward and was in a ‘‘comfortable condition’’.

The incident is the second of its type to occur in New Zealand this month. On December 6, Auckland firefighters had to cut two palings off a fence outside a Pitt St church after a woman was impaled on them.

The woman had been trying to climb over the fence when she slipped and the fence went into her upper leg.

Manawatu Standard