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France

Firefighters, stonemason move 300-kg man from flat

Open access/Mairie, Cazères

A team of 20 firefighters and a stonemason had to be called to move a man weighing 320 kilogrammes out of his second-floor flat in a south-western French town on Wednesday. The 48-year-old, who was taken to hospital for breathing difficulties, says he had not left his home for more than two years.

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The former businessman’s health deteriorated over the summer and he had not slept for a month, he told the Dépêche du Midi newspaper.

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His doctor told him on Tuesday that he stood a 50 per cent chance of dying unless he went to hospital for emergency treatment but he can no longer walk and is too fat to be carried down the stairs, so getting him there posed a problem.

The local council in the town of Cazarès, near Toulouse, had to find a stonemason to enlarge the window of the flat so that he could pass through it and 20 firefighters, some of whom were specialists of work in “dangerous conditions”, were needed to effect the operation.

They placed him in a seat usually used in mountain rescue operations and transferred him to a vehicle that had been specially adapted for the purpose.

The man, who lived in the two-room flat with his 18-year-old son, said that his obesity is genetic.

He is now looking for a ground-floor apartment.

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