French Hospital Evacuated After Senior Arrives With WWI-Era Shell Stuck Up Rectum

Photo Credit: 1. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP / Getty Images 2. @acommonlawyer / Twitter
Photo Credit: 1. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP / Getty Images 2. @acommonlawyer / Twitter

Hôpital Sainte-Musse in Toulon, France had to be partially evacuated on December 17, 2022 after an 88-year-old senior arrived at the emergency room with a WWI-era shell stuck up his rectum.

According to a report by French news outlet Var-matin, hospital management immediately organized a partial evacuation of the facility, with the help of on-site security guards and firefighters. While most departments were included, the gynecological and maternity wards continued to function as normal.

Along with the partial evacuation, new patients were temporarily diverted to other hospitals in the area.

“An apple, a mango or even a can of shaving foam… We are used to finding unusual objects inserted where they shouldn’t be,” a staff member told Var-matin. “But a shell? Never!”

The senior reassured hospital staff that the WWI-era shell up his rectum was demilitarized and a collector’s item, which he’d inserted into his rectum for pleasure. After confirming it was safe, doctors performed abdominal surgery to remove the French shell from the 88 year old’s body, which reportedly measured 5-6 cm x 20 cm. However, there is speculation as to whether those measurements are correct.

The patient is reportedly in good health. On the morning of December 19, hospital management thanked staff via email for their efforts during the unexpected incident.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hôpital Sainte-Musse said, “An emergency occurred from 9 PM to 11:30 PM on Saturday that required intervention of bomb disposal personnel, the evacuation of adult and pediatric emergencies as well as the diversion of incoming emergencies. We have to manage the risk in a reactive framework. When in doubt, we took all the precautions.”

French 37 mm shell on display
WWI-era 37 mm shell, similar to the one found lodged up the senior’s rectum. (Photo Credit: Daderot / Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0)

While the exact type of shell the senior had up his rectum has not been released, the image circulating around social media looks to be of a WWI-era 37 mm munition. An online search shows that obtaining one isn’t all that difficult, with a number of websites offering the shells for relatively low prices.

More from us: WWII-Era Grenade Found in New Zealand French Fry Factory

Patients going to the emergency room after getting a 20th-century munition stuck up their rectum isn’t as uncommon as some may think. A similar incident occurred in 2021, when a man arrived at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in the United Kingdom, claiming he’d “slipped and fell” on a 6 cm x 17 cm anti-tank round from the Second World War.

The 11 Explosive Ordnance Regiment was called the facility, after which it was determined the munition wasn’t live and, therefore, not a risk to hospital staff. The patient was released following its removal and was expected to make a full recovery.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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