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Explorer injured in Salzburg mountains

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Explorer injured in Salzburg mountains
A cave rescue expert. File photo: APA/Bavarian Red Cross
16:29 CEST+02:00
A Polish caver has been seriously injured and is trapped in Salzburg's Tennen Mountains. A rescue team is on the scene but may not be able to free the man until the weekend.

The Polish researcher was exploring the deep Jack Daniel's cave with six colleagues when he fell eight metres, fracturing his thigh and injuring his hips and chest.

One of his fellow explorers climbed out and alerted the rescue service early on Thursday morning. However, due to bad weather they had to ascend the mountain on foot, which took almost four hours. 

Team leader Wilfried Seidl said the man was "stable" and being cared for by colleagues.

The group of researchers had been commissioned by the Salzburg Cave Association to explore, measure and document the Jack Daniel's cave - a project they have been working on for years. 

There are numerous caves in the Tennen Mountains, and new ones are continually being discovered.

Knowledge of the caves, and the routes that water takes through them, is important, particularly in terms of future water supply for the population and the protection of water resources. 

The Jack Daniel's cave is around ten km wide and eight km deep, and is one of Austria's biggest caves. Johannes Mattes, from the Association of Austrian Cavers, said he only knows how to enter the cave through personal experience, but would no longer dare attempt it now that he is 72 years old. 

The rescue team has set up a base camp in the mountains and hopes that a doctor will be able to reach the injured man on Thursday evening.

Many of the team were involved in a lengthy rescue operation in the Bavarian Alps in June - in which an explorer was trapped deep in a cave for 11 days. 

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