Trapped US farmer cuts off own leg to save life

Grain bin storage facilities in Nebraska, the state where Kurt Kaser farmed for decades before his leg became trapped in a corn hopper, forcing him to cut it off with a pocket knife. [Photo: AFP]

A US farmer in his 60s whose leg was horrifically sucked into a corn hopper sawed off the limb with a pocket knife to save his life.

Kurt Kaser, 63, a life-long farmer in the central state of Nebraska, said he was working alone last month when he got out of his truck and mistakenly stepped into "that little hole" of the hopper.

"It just sucked my leg in and I was trying to pull it out, and it kept pulling," he told the local ABC affiliate in Omaha, KETV.

"I about gave up once and just said the heck with it... and then I felt it jerk me again. I thought, well, I was going in," Kaser added.

He realized that his only option was to "cut it off" using the small knife in his pocket.

"So I just started sawing on it," he said, matter-of-factly.

After performing the grisly life-saving task, Kaser crawled to his house to phone for help, reports said.

The first to arrive was his son Adam, who happens to be a member of the local rescue squad, the Omaha World-Herald reported early Wednesday.

After a week in hospital and two more in rehabilitation, Kaser was back home last Friday, optimistic that he will be walking normally again, the newspaper said.

- 'In a hurry' -

"I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention," he said, hoping his story can serve as a warning to other farmers.

Local media showed images of Kaser in a wheelchair, his bandaged left leg amputated below the knee.

The incident -- shared widely on social media -- prompted comparisons by moviegoers with Danny Boyle's 2010 film "127 Hours," in which James Franco plays real-life adventurer Aron Ralston, who amputated his own arm after being trapped in a canyon for five days.

"Reminiscent of Aron Ralston. What a horrifying ordeal to have to go through," tweeted Ron Terrell, a morning news anchor for Oklahoma-based Fox 23.

"Between 127 Hours and this story, I am going to start carrying a hacksaw," one Twitter user observed.

Over on Facebook, Mike Walker, owner of Missouri-based Black Sky Radio, thought the drama was more reminiscent of horror film "Saw," an even more grisly take on self-amputation.

"I think I would have attempted to break every bit of whatever had me gorilla style before I went all 'Saw' on my parts," he posted.

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US farmerKurt KaserCuts legSave life