A man trying to climb a 12-foot, wrought-iron fence into a concert venue fell onto one of the inch-thick spikes, impaling his thigh, then held on while rescuers worked to cut part of the fence away.

The man drifted in and out of consciousness as firefighters used hydraulic cutters to snap three of the spikes, but he was speaking as rescuers loaded him into an ambulance about 45 minutes later, said John Kottmyer, assistant chief of York fire and rescue service.

"He had to actually try to hold himself up there," Kottmyer said.

The man underwent surgery Wednesday night and was still hospitalized Thursday, according to David Nichols, chief of the West Manchester Township Fire Department. His identity was not released; no police charges were filed.

The fence's sharp-ended spikes rise about 8 inches above a horizontal bar, and when the man fell, one spike penetrated his leg completely. Nichols said the rescuers could not have removed the man from the fence.

"Medical protocol is you don't ... remove an impalement because it may have severed an artery or nicked an artery and it could be holding back that blood," Nichols said.

The man and several friends had been headed to the Bad Boys of Rock concert featuring the bands Hinder, Papa Roach and Buckcherry, according to York Fair vice president Gene Schenck.

The man had a concert ticket, but officials said the group may have jumped the fence to avoid the fair's $5 entry fee. His friends jumped the fence safely.