One of the four-man crew was able to walk away from the crash Thursday, but pilot Chris Spring ended up with a piece of wood in his buttock, losing so much blood that he nearly died, according to the Vancouver Sun newspaper.
Two teammates were also hurt – one with severe bruising and the other with serious leg injuries, the Sun reported. All were airlifted to a local hospital.
According to the newspaper, the wood is believed to have come from a crash barrier that the team smashed into, apparently because of a steering error.
The AFP news agency reported Friday afternoon that at least one of the injured was due to be released soon.
Altenberg, located in Saxony state, is reputed to have among the most difficult bobsleigh tracks in the world. It is one of the key competition spots on this year’s World Cup circuit.