A fire extinguisher sprung a leak and shot 12 storeys into the air, taking off a construction worker's arm in a freak accident that prompted his co-workers' prayers to appease angry spirits, local media reported Wednesday.

The accident occurred in a building many believe is haunted after a fire eight years ago killed 40 people and injured 81. Workers were demolishing the Garley Building to make way for a shopping mall when the sudden leak in the fire extinguisher propelled it into the air Monday.

The 36-year-old man who lost his arm, identified only by the surname So, remained hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday, government officials said.