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Vacuum Cleaner Saves Choking Man

January 8, 2001
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Tokyo (Reuters) -- A vacuum cleaner saved the life of a 70-year-old man when it was used to suck out a rice cake ("mochi") on which he was choking, local officials said on Saturday.

The sticky mochi, made of glutinous rice, is traditionally served during New Year's in Japan, but it can be lethal to elderly people. Every year the Japanese press has reports of elderly people dying from eating mochi during the holidays.

The government this year issued a special warning on the dangers of mochi for the elderly and very young.

le the vacuum cleaner successfully sucked out the mass of mochi, the official cautioned that it is not an accepted way to dislodge such items.

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