China: Around The Nation

Chinese doctors reattach thumb of ‘hero’ who grabbed falling lamp post to save strangers

Wang Laizi’s left thumb was ‘left hanging by piece of skin’ after being crushed between 70kg lamp post and a factory fence in Wuhan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 3:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 3:10pm

Chinese doctors successfully reattached the thumb of a farmer, which was almost severed after he selflessly grabbed a falling lamp post to save two strangers standing in its way, mainland media reported.

The left thumb of Wang Laizi was “left hanging only by a thin piece of skin” after it was embedded with a 3cm diameter steel rod when it was crushed between the 70kg lamp post and a factory fence in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 9, the news website

I am just a typical farmer and anyone would have acted like me in the same situation
Wang Laizi

Chen Xi, a doctor at Wuhan Puai Hospital, said both of Wang’s hands were badly injured in the accident. Doctors were forced to perform immediate surgery to reattach the thumb to ensure it could be saved.

Wang, who lives in Wuhan’s Dongxihu district, was modest about his selfless act in saving two people from possible serious injury, the report said.

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He said: “I am just a typical farmer and anyone would have acted like me in the same situation.”

Wang, who sometimes works as a painter decorator, had gone to the factory to fix the damaged lamp post, which had been knocked over by a car.

The lamp post had been left leaning against a fence at the factory, but as Wang and a colleague took out a few steel rods to begin their repairs, it began to slide along the fence towards two people who were standing looking at their mobile phones, the report said.

Wang shouted a warning, “Watch out! Watch out”, and ran over to the lamp post and wrapped his arms around it.

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“The lamp post weighed at least 70kg, so I was just hoping to slow it down so it would fall in a different place and give the two people time to escape,” Wang was quoted as saying in the report.

His hands became trapped between the lamp post and the fence and one of the steel rods he was holding became embedded in his thumb.

The fence then collapsed under the weight of the lamp post.