Physicians in northern city of Amritsar have surgically removed 40 knives from the stomach of a policeman who had swallowed them over the past two months, doctors said Tuesday.
Hospital staff initially thought the unnamed man was suffering from a tumor when he was admitted two weeks ago complaining of stomach pains.
Body scans showed a large solid mass. But on further investigation, they discovered dozens of folding knives with metal and wooden handles and measuring up to 18 centimeters (seven inches) unfolded that had caused massive internal bleeding.
"We immediately prepared him for surgery and removed the knives. There was bleeding as some of them were unfolded," Rajinder Rajan, one of the surgeons at Corporate Hospital in Amritsar, told the AFP news agency.
Surgeons said they'd never seen anything like it.
"In my 20-year career, and in all the medical literature that we checked, there has never been a case like this one, where a person has swallowed not one, but 40 knives," Dr. Jatinder Malhotra, a critical care doctor who assisted with the five-hour surgery.
A satisfactory explanation of what possesses the man to swallow metal blades remains elusive.
"I don't know why I did it but there was some spiritual power behind it," the man told AFP. "It started in June when I swallowed the first knife and I enjoyed the feeling. It soon became a habit."
But the man says he's now lost the taste for metal.
"I consumed a knife a day for about two months. I never felt it was going to harm me but when it pained, I came to the hospital," he said. "I will not repeat it. I am glad they saved my life and I want to go back to my family."
jar/ (AP, AFP)