(CBS News) A Washington state man who survived a freak journey through an industrial machine similar to a wood chipper was recovering in a hospital on Thursday from crushed bones and battered organs, and said he felt fortunate to be alive.

Frank Arce, 23, was at his job as a general laborer at the Swanson Bark and Wood Products Co in Longview, Wash. late last week when he climbed up on a drum to remove a piece of jammed wood, Arce and his mother, Brenda Arce, told Reuters.

He fell through a basketball-sized hole into a powered-off “porcupine” device, which uses eight-inch blades and other instruments to break up pieces of bark, Brenda Arce said.

A co-worker, who was unaware someone had fallen into the machine, switched the porcupine back on while Arce was trapped inside.

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