Man weighing 300 kilos evacuated by crane

A MAN, 52, weighing 300 kilos was evacuated from his home in Perpignan, France, with the help of a 60-metre crane.

The man, named as Alain P, has morbid obesity and had been trapped in his small home in the neighbourhood of Saint-Jacques for more than a year.

With the help of a 60-metre crane and a team of around 50 people, including doctors, firemen and technicians, he was extracted from the apartment this week.

The operation was extremely complex, especially due to how narrow the street is and the small size of the man’s apartment. A window had to be widened to fit in a purpose-built platform so the man could be extracted through it.

The building was evacuated and a garage on the ground floor was also emptied. The building was propped up to lessen the risk of it collapsing and some of the lighting and two bollards had to be removed from the street outside.

For more than six hours, starting at 5am, the team worked to extract Alain, until he was eventually taken to a special unit of Montpellier Hospital by ambulance.

A doctor said that one of the difficulties is that he can’t lie down flat, and was only able to sit on the floor.

His health had deteriorated in recent months, but his brother, who is his carer, still had trouble convincing him to ask the authorities for help to leave his home and get treatment. He finally did so in July, having previously refused to enter a special care centre.

His lawyer told the local press that he was happy to think that for the first time in a long time, Alain would be sleeping in a bed. Meanwhile, Alain admitted that he had a long way to go before he was out of danger.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.