Injured Explorer Rescued From Deep German Cave After 12 Days

A German explorer who was seriously injured in a rock slide at the bottom of the country's deepest cave has finally been brought to the surface.

Injured Explorer Rescued From Deep German Cave After 12 Days

A German researcher who was injured at the bottom of the country's deepest cave nearly two weeks ago has finally been rescued.

"Rescuers brought Johann Westhauser the final 180 meters to the surface today. The 52-year-old experienced caver was hit in the head by a rock on June 8." (Via CTV)

According to The Guardian, Westhauser was airlifted to a hospital in Bavaria shortly after rescue crews pulled him out of the complex Riesending cave system in the Alps near the Austrian border.

As the BBC reports, it took more than 700 people from five different countries 12 days to finally reach Westhauser. A rock slide while he was 3,280 feet underground left him seriously hurt and unable to climb back to the surface.

Even though the cave researcher suffered injuries to the head and chest during the accident, officials told The Guardian he is in good health, considering everything he's been through.

"They had to be very, very careful with him. They couldn't transport him vertically, but they had to be very, very gentle with him." (Via BBC)

The Independent says Westhauser was part of a team that discovered the Riesending cave system in 1995. He was reportedly trying to find a so-called "super cave" that had eluded other explorers for years when the rock slide occurred.

Two other people were with Westhauser at the time of the slide, but they were able to make it out on their own. After climbing 12 hours to the surface, they alerted authorities to their companion's condition. The extent of Westhauser's injuries is still unknown.