Doctors say a man who swallowed a three-inch knife to avoid charges of possessing a weapon is lucky to be alive.

Mao Kyan, from Chendu in China, ended up having the weapon stuck in his throat for eight months.

The 36-year-old swallowed the knife as police raided his flat searching for drugs.

He had not wanted to be charged with possessing a weapon as well as possession of drugs, Russian news website Pravda.ru reports.

Believing he had swallowed the knife completely and that it had been somehow dissolved in his stomach, he went to the hospital only eight months later after feeling a pain in his throat.

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