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Johannesburg -

A boy, estimated to be nine years old, was critically injured when he was impaled on a piece of reinforcing steel in Folweni, Umlazi, on Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services (EMS) said.

The boy was impaled on the piece of rebar, commonly used for reinforcing concrete, which was sticking out of the ground in an open area where he had been walking, spokesman Robert McKenzie said in a statement.

The piece of rebar became stuck in the child's torso and firefighters had to cut the piece of rebar free from the ground.

Paramedics lifted the child on a trauma board and an EMS helicopter airlifted him to Inkhosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

The boy, in a critical but stable condition, received treatment from a team of trauma doctors at the hospital. - Sapa