• Germany edition
 
Hope for man trapped in Germany's deepest cave
The explorer Johann Westhauser, pictured in 2009, was one of the first to discover the cave system. Photo: DPA

Hope for man trapped in Germany's deepest cave

Published: 10 Jun 2014 08:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jun 2014 08:45 GMT+02:00

The 52-year-old explorer, named by Bild newspaper as Johann Westhauser, was seriously injured around 1,000 metres below ground by a rock fall in the Riesending caves near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, on Sunday.

On Monday, emergency services managed to make contact with him, but police said the man was not able to be moved and a specialist rescue team was called in from Switzerland.

But on Tuesday a spokesman for Chiemgau Mountain Rescue said the explorer from Stuttgart was responsive and able to stand up for short periods of time.

Previously it was only thought he could be moved lying down.

CLICK HERE for photos of the rescue operation

The researcher, who was one of the first to discover the cave years ago, was exploring Germany's deepest and longest cave with two companions when he suffered injuries to his head and upper body in the rock fall at around 1.30am.

One of his companions managed to climb up the cave and raise the alarm, while the second stayed with the injured man. It took the climber almost 12 hours to get to the surface. 

The rescue operation involves 200 people and the man could now be out by the end of the week. He will be brought in stages to five stations in the caves called bivouacs over the next three to five days, Chiemgau mountain rescue said. 

Westhauser works at the physics department of the Karlsruhe Insititue of Technology (KIT) studying caves.

Dr Elke Luise Barnstedt from KIT said in a statement to The Local that everyone at the institute was concerned about their colleague. "We hope that the rescue operation can soon come to a successful conclusion," she said. "We wish him a quick and complete recovery."
 

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama during a meeting at the G7 Summit in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel & Obama fire warning to Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama warned Friday that Russia was triggering a "dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine due to its military presence and shelling there. READ  

Bayern kick off title defence with win
Bayern's galaxy of stars celebrate after scoring against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. Photo: DPA

Bayern kick off title defence with win

Reigning German champions Bayern Munich got the new Bundesliga season off to a perfect start with a dramatic 2-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg on Friday. READ  

Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo:Shutterstock

Size does matter in this case, rules judge

A judge has ordered a deliveryman's manhood to be measured after he claimed in court that it was too small for him to be guilty of exhibitionism. READ  

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll
Ukrainian soldiers near Luhansk, Ukraine. Photo: DPA

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll

Almost two thirds of Germans fear Russia plans further land grabs in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll released on the eve of Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the conflict-torn country. READ  

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany
Actress Natascha Ochsenknecht gets doused. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany

German football players, German tennis players, German TV characters and Germany's latest Topmodel winner are on it, but is it actually making a difference? READ  

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen tries on military body armour. Photo: DPA

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip

Amid heated debates over arms for Iraq, the Ukraine crisis, and Germany's foreign military involvement despite its WWII legacy, defence chief Ursula von der Leyen stirred a debate of her own on Friday after a dud World Cup gag. READ  

Expat Dispatches
He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!
He says "I will!" Photo: DPA

He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!

A quick and uncomplicated conversation between a recently engaged couple concluded that the husband-to-be would take on his fiancee's surname. However, no one was more surprised by people's reactions than Australian expat Liv Hambrett. READ  

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus
Photo:DPA

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus

Four white lions born into the Krone Circus during its stop in Magdeburg yesterday find themselves in a Germany reliving a decades-old fight over exotic animals displayed for profit. READ  

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list
A donor heart gets delivered to the DHZB. Photo: DPA

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list

UPDATE: The German Heart Institute of Berlin (DHZB) is under investigation for attempted manslaughter after evidence showed a doctor manipulated patient data to get them a new heart faster. READ  

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks
Julius Bär bank. Photo:DPA

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks

Berlin is suing one of Switzerland's largest banks in its bid to recuperate hundreds of million euros that went missing during the reunification of East and West Germany, the bank said Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,359
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd