Olympics 2012: German lifter drops 432 pound barbells onto neck in failed bid to defend Olympic title

London: Defending Olympic weightlifting champion Matthias Steiner had a fortunate escape at London’s ExCel center on Tuesday, when he dropped 432 pounds barbell onto his neck during his second attempt.

Steiner couldn``t uphold the weights above his head after losing balance during the snatch portion on the platform at the London games.

The German fell gawkily as the barbell landed on top of him, and medical personnel rushed to his aid.

The crowd waited nervously for any sign that the 29-year-old had come through the dramatic accident.

Steiner eventually got back to his feet and waved to them before walking into the back room.

Steiner did not emerge for his third attempt and an announcer told the crowd that the 2008 Olympic champion was being taken to a hospital for a precautionary x-ray on his neck.

Steiner could not defend his Olympic title and World Champion Behad Salmimi took gold while his Iranian compatriot Sajjad Anoushiravani grabbed the silver ahead of Russia``s European champion Ruslan Albegov.

Steiner``s injury is third such unfortunate accident during the weightlifting competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

South Korean Olympic weightlifter Jaehyouk Sa was forced to abandon the competition after his elbow snapped back while he was attempting a 162kg lift, and Egypt``s Khalil Mahmoud Abir Abdelrahman was pinned to the ground as she tried to lift a whopping 151kg.