Doctors reach injured explorer in Alps cave

DPA/The Local
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Doctors reach injured explorer in Alps cave

An explorer who has lain injured one kilometer underground in Germany’s deepest cave since Sunday is able to be moved, according to doctors who reached the researcher for the first time on Wednesday evening.


A spokesman for Bavarian mountain rescue said that on Wednesday night two doctors from Austria had reached Johann Westhauser, a cave researcher from Stuttgart who works at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. 

He said the researcher was able to be moved but must first receive treatment. “The doctors will now medicate the man,” the spokesman said.

The 52-year-old suffered a head injury after being hit by falling rocks on Sunday in the Riesending caves in the Bavarian Alps.

Westhauser’s condition is said to be in a stable and he will be moved as soon as he is in a good enough state, the spokesman added.

Six international rescue teams are working in the Alps near Berchtesgaden in the operation to get Westhauser back to the surface.

CLICK HERE for photos of the rescue

A mountain rescue team arrived from northern Italy on Tuesday and worked in the cave throughout the night to optimize the route and reinforce safeguards in preparation for the doctors' journey.

The process of transporting the explorer is expected to take several days even in optimal conditions and will present a variety of challenges. Certain parts of the cave bottleneck only allowing one person at a time to pass.

It is possible that the patient may be lifted with the help of pulleys. 

SEE ALSO: Doctors head to man in Germany's deepest cave


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