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Injured explorer trapped in German cave rescued after 12 days

Published on Jun 19, 2014 6:25 PM

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany (REUTERS) - An injured explorer trapped in Germany's deepest cave system for 12 days was finally brought to the surface on Thursday after a complex rescue operation, Bavaria's mountain rescue service said.

Mr Johann Westhauser, a 52-year old speleologist, injured his head in a rock fall on June 8 and was unable to climb back to the surface on his own as the ascent involved steep shafts and narrow tunnels.

The rescue took so long to complete because the injured man could not stand and the ascent involves steep and narrow horizontal and vertical shafts.

"He left the cave at 11.44 a.m. (5.44 pm, Singapore time)," said a rescue service spokesman, adding that medics were looking after him.

Rescuers help injured researcher Johann Westhauser inside the Riesending cave in Untersberg, south of Munich in this still image taken from video from a camera mounted on the helmet of a rescuer released by Bavaria's mountain rescue team "Bergwacht Bayern" on June 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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