Injured cave explorer 400 metres from daylight

After ten days of lying injured in a cave, an explorer is slowly approaching daylight and is now around 400 metres from the surface.

Injured cave explorer 400 metres from daylight
Westhauser is being transported on a stretcher by the international team of rescuers. Photo: BRK/Bergwacht Bayern

Bavarian Mountain Rescue said on Wednesday morning that a rescue team, carrying cave researcher Johann Westhauser to safety from 1,000 metres underground in Germany’s deepest cave, was approaching the final stop before they make the last push to daylight-

The 52-year-old suffered a head injury last Sunday in a rock fall in the Riesending cave in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden and is being transported on a stretcher attached to rope and pulleys.

Rescuers hope to reach the last stage before the exit to the cave on Wednesday. From there they will be 400 metres from the surface and could be out by the end of the week.

Westhauser, who works at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is being treated by a paramedic and two doctors from Austria and Italy. “They will carry out any medical checks to prepare the patient for the final stage,” the mountain rescue spokesman said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rescue operation in Germany's biggest cave

The rescue team has made better than expected progress but the spokesman warned against early euphoria. “The rescuers have stopped and are going extremely slowly in this section of the passage to avoid rock falls,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Injured cave explorer could be out by Friday

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