Surgeons managed to pull a live grenade from the skull of a soldier in an operation that took place outside of a military hospital.
The grenade allegedly became lodged in the skull of Luis Eduardo Perez Arango, during a military exercise gone bad, according to Daily Mail.
The surgeons performed the operation under tense conditions. The grenade could have exploded without warning.
A temporary operating area was set up to perform the procedure, with doctors fearing that moving the patient could cause the device to explode.
“We now have an established protocol," said surgeon William Sanchez. "We logically did it outside the hospital, because if it were to activate it, it needed to be somewhere it would have the least impact."
“It was a decisive moment, logically one of stress and uncertainty, but there was no other option than to push on to save the life of the patient, even praying and asking God not to let a bigger tragedy happen,” Sanchez added.
Arango is reportedly recovering under medical observation.
The circumstances surrounding how the grenade became stuck in Arango’s face are being investigated, according to the Daily Mirror.
Some reports suggest the misuse of a heavy firearm with a grenade launcher resulted in the accident.
Arango’s accident comes almost five years after a similar incident in Mexico. Karla Flores, a 32-year-old woman, was selling seafood in Culiacan in August 2011 when she heard an explosion, according to The Huffington Post.
After fainting, Flores awoke in a hospital to X-rays that found an unexploded, 40-mm grenade lodged in her trachea. Several doctors refused to operate, but finally three doctors and a nurse volunteered to do so.
They took Flores to an open field to perform the procedure and, after four hours, the grenade was successfully removed.