06/27/2012 12:16 EDT | Updated 08/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Man impaled by steel rod at Quebec City work site

A worker is undergoing surgery after a 30-centimetre long steel rod pierced his upper body in a workplace accident in Quebec City.

The 25-year-old man was operating a mechanical shovel in the parking lot of a downtown provincial government building Wednesday morning when the rod lodged itself between his collar bone and right shoulder.

Annie Marmen of the Quebec City fire department said they were called in to help extricate the man from the construction equipment because he was pinned inside.

Firefighters cut off both ends of the rod so the man could be moved.

The operation took more than two hours.

Marmen said the man remained conscious and calm as firefighters worked to free him.

Investigators are at the scene trying to determine what caused the accident.