A city worker in Arizona is in intensive care after a 16ft-tall saguaro cactus fell on him and pinned him to the ground.
Officials in Yuma say William Mason, 40, was responding to an emergency water leak Tuesday in a Yuma subdivision when the saguaro, the largest cactus in the country, fell on him.
Other members in his work crew were able to free him and call 911.
The Yuma Sun reports Mr Mason’s family saying he suffered multiple injuries including a broken back, leg, as well as internal injuries and a fever.
By Thursday 146 cactus spines were removed from his body with many more remaining.
Mr Mason remains hospitalized at Yuma Regional Medical Center with his mother-in-law, Caroline Ashley, telling the Sun that Mr Mason went into surgery on late Thursday.
‘We’ll have to see how the surgery goes to learn the extent of his injuries,’ Ms Ashley said.
‘It was a horrible accident. He’s in very serious condition. We don’t even know if he will live. We’re all praying for him,’ she said while waiting to hear more from her daughter.
Saguaro cactuses can weigh anywhere from hundreds of pounds to more than several thousand pounds, depending on how much water they’re holding.
According to the Sun, their roots are usually only four to six inches deep in the ground, while anchored by a larger, single tap root.
The cause for the plant’s fall is currently under investigation.
A pulmonologist, trauma orthopedic surgeon, regular orthopedic doctor, spinal specialist, general surgeon, infectious control doctor and hospitalist are all treating Mr Mason.
Good luck Mr Mason. Big fan of your jars. Climate change is shifting the rain in Az, but I’m not sure if this bastard of a cactus that attacked Mr Mason was suffering from too much or too little water. Is there a cactus doctor who can explain this falling behavior?
More on Az climate change:
Most areas of the United States are now receiving more total annual rainfall than they did 50 years ago. There is significant regional variability in this trend, however. Adding up the total regional positive and negative trends, the U.S. as a whole is now receiving five percent more precipitation each year. The Northeast and northern Midwest have shown the greatest increases in average annual rainfall, with the Southeast and Southwest exhibiting the greatest rainfall reduction trends. Some of the Nation's most pronounced rainfall reduction trends have occurred in Arizona. While most of the state has experienced around five percent reduction in annual rainfall levels, parts of the southwest corner of the state have witnessed as much as a 40 percent drop.
Yuma, Arizona. Home of the horrid falling cactus.