How a Teenager Got a Six-Inch Eel Stuck in His Throat for Five Hours

A teenager came close to death in the aftermath of a disastrous fishing trip when a live eel slithered into his mouth and became lodged in his throat. The six-inch eel was stuck there for five hours, blocking his airways and making it difficult for the 16-year-old Bangladeshi boy to breathe.

The Daily Mail reports he was fishing with his friend in a local canal when he spotted two eels. He caught the first one and wanted to keep his hands free to catch the second. He put the eel between his teeth to hold, but it wriggled out of his teeth, into his mouth, and down his throat.

In a panic, the teen ran home to his family, who attempted to pull the fish out of his throat by hand. The eel only slipped further down his throat and out of sight. Eventually, they rushed the boy to a local clinic and then to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where doctors decided to carry out an emergency procedure.

They cut open the front of his neck and inserted a tube into his windpipe to help him breathe, but he still couldn’t get enough air into his lungs. Five hours after the eel first entered his throat, doctors spotted the fish’s tailfin through the hole in his neck and managed to pull it out using a pair of forceps.

The boy could breathe again instantaneously. The fish was died after a staying alive for some time inside his body.

“This is the second case I have come across to date,” said Kanu Saha, the boy’s surgeon. “The other was a 45-year-old man who came from a rural village about 300 kilometers away. It was 12 hours after he swallowed the fish. Unfortunately he didn’t survive.”