- A man in the U.K. sought medical attention after he was unable to remove an anti-tank shell from his rectum.
- The hospital called the British Army, which determined he was in no danger of exploding.
- The man explained that he had “accidentally” fallen on the shell while cleaning.
An unnamed British man is recovering somewhere—and likely thanking hospital privacy laws—after being treated for an anti-tank shell stuck in his rear end. The incident, which took place in Gloucestershire, England, saw the army’s explosive ordnance called out to ensure the shell, more than two inches in diameter (above), posed no threat to the man or medical staff treating him.
The incident, according to The Sun, happened on December 2. The man explained he had been housecleaning when he accidentally slipped and fell tail-first on the shell. In a colossal, frankly incredible stroke of bad luck, the shell penetrated his rectum and he was unable to dislodge it.
The hapless victim, reportedly a collector of military memorabilia, went to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital seeking emergency help. Alarmed medical officials contacted the British Army, and troops from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment were unlucky enough to be called out. The soldiers determined the shell was not a physical danger and doctors removed it from its lodgement in the man’s rectum.
The shell involved was reportedly a relic from an old, long obsolete anti-tank gun. The gun, known during World War II as the “six pounder,” had a barrel diameter of 57 millimeters, or 2.24 inches. Thus, the shell involved was also 2.24 inches wide… which sounds extremely uncomfortable. Unlike high explosive or shaped charge rounds, the round involved was likely an inert training round, lacking an explosive propellant charge in the shell casing.
The gun was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1941 as the M1 anti-tank gun. The rapid pace of tank development during the war meant the six pounder was obsolete by 1943, though that was probably not on the mind of the man when he “fell” on it.