Otoniel Lopez was working at the Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Friday when he fell feet-first about 9 feet onto the upright steel bar. A 4-to-5-foot piece of rebar entered Lopez' body at his left hip and exited through the left side of his chest.
Fredericksburg Fire Department spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said emergency workers found the 30-year-old Lopez moaning but conscious. The crew severed the rebar but left about three feet of it inside Lopez while he was taken to Mary Washington Hospital.
The bar apparently did not damage any of Lopez’s major organs. Dave Morris, one of the medics on the scene, told Bledsoe that the bar may have punctured Lopez’s left lung since he could not hear lung sounds when he put a stethoscope to the man’s chest.
Bishop Paul Loverde of the Arlington Diocese said in a statement that Lopez was in critical condition.