Rescuers work to save man deep in German cave

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Rescuers work to save man deep in German cave
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 11: In this undated handout photo a spelunker explores the Riesending cave where an explorer is currently lying injured 1,000 meters below since June 8, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo by Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 16: In this handout image supplied by the Bavarian mountain patrol 'Bergwacht Bayern', Rescue workers transport injured spelunker Johann Westhauser from 700 meters underground towards the surface of the Riesending cave on June 16, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. Westhauser, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks and severely injured 1,000 meters underground on June 8. Since then specialist rescue workers from across Europe are helping with the arduous rescue effort, which will likely take at least several more days. (Photo by Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 16: In this handout image supplied by the Bavarian mountain patrol 'Bergwacht Bayern', Injured spelunker Johann Westhauser is transported with ropes by rescue workers from 700 meters underground towards the surface of the Riesending cave on June 16, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. Westhauser, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks and severely injured 1,000 meters underground on June 8. Since then specialist rescue workers from across Europe are helping with the arduous rescue effort, which will likely take at least several more days. (Photo by Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images)
In this picture provided by Bavarian Red Cross/Berchtesgaden and taken Sunday June 8, 2014 a firefighters' car stands in front of a helicopter in a valley near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Rescuers were working Monday to recover a man stuck deep inside a cave in the German Alps after he was injured by falling rocks Sunday an effort that police said could take days as experts negotiate a tricky labyrinth of vertical shafts and bottlenecks. A four-member rescue team reached the 52-year-old German cave researcher early Monday inside the Riesending cave system, near Berchtesgaden in Germany’s southeastern corner, police said. (AP Photo/ho/Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz) MANDATORY CREDIT - EDITORIAL USE ONLY
In this picture provided by Bavarian Red Cross/Berchtesgaden and taken Sunday June 8, 2014 a rescuer enters a cave near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Rescuers were working Monday to recover a man stuck deep inside a cave in the German Alps after he was injured by falling rocks Sunday an effort that police said could take days as experts negotiate a tricky labyrinth of vertical shafts and bottlenecks. A four-member rescue team reached the 52-year-old German cave researcher early Monday inside the Riesending cave system, near Berchtesgaden in Germany’s southeastern corner, police said. (AP Photo/ho/Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz) MANDATORY CREDIT - EDITORIAL USE ONLY
In this picture provided by Bavarian Red Cross/Berchtesgaden and taken Sunday June 8, 2014 a rescuer enters a cave near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Rescuers were working Monday to recover a man stuck deep inside a cave in the German Alps after he was injured by falling rocks Sunday an effort that police said could take days as experts negotiate a tricky labyrinth of vertical shafts and bottlenecks. A four-member rescue team reached the 52-year-old German cave researcher early Monday inside the Riesending cave system, near Berchtesgaden in Germany’s southeastern corner, police said. (AP Photo/ho/Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz) MANDATORY CREDIT - EDITORIAL USE ONLY
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 11: In this undated handout photo a spelunker explores the Riesending cave where an explorer is currently lying injured 1,000 meters below since June 8, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo by Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 11: In this undated handout photo a spelunker explores the Riesending cave where an explorer is currently lying injured 1,000 meters below since June 8, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo by Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 10: In this handout photo provided by the Bavarian Red Cross rescue workers gather at a tent near the entrance to the Riesending underground cave where an explorer is lying injured 1,000 meters below on June 10, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks on June 8 and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo Courtesy of Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 10: In this handout photo provided by the Bavarian Red Cross rescue workers stand at the entrance to the Riesending underground cave where an explorer is lying injured 1,000 meters below on June 10, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks on June 8 and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo Courtesy of Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz via Getty Images)
MARKTSCHELLENBERG, GERMANY - JUNE 10: In this handout photo provided by the Bavarian Red Cross rescue workers unload supplises from a helicopter near the entrance to the Riesending underground cave where an explorer is lying injured 1,000 meters below on June 10, 2014 near Marktschellenberg, Germany. The man, along with two colleagues, was exploring the Riesending vertical cave, which is over 20km long and up to 1,148 meters deep, when he was struck by rocks on June 8 and severely injured. Since then specialist rescue workers from Switzerland and Italy have arrived to help with the arduous rescue effort, which could take up to several more days and even weeks. (Photo by Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz/Getty Images)
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BERLIN (AP) - Rescuers were working Monday to bring out a man stuck deep inside a cave in the German Alps after he was injured by falling rocks, an effort that police said could take days as experts negotiate a tricky labyrinth of vertical shafts and bottlenecks.

A four-member rescue team reached the 52-year-old German cave researcher early Monday inside the Riesending cave system, near Berchtesgaden in Germany's southeastern corner, police said.

The man, whose name wasn't released in keeping with German privacy rules, had suffered head and upper body injuries a day earlier. One of his two uninjured companions made a 12-hour climb back to the cave entrance to alert authorities, while the other stayed with him.

The injured man is nearly 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) underground "in one of the most difficult caves in Europe," mountain rescue official Klemens Reindl told n-tv television.

"We have shafts that go straight down 350 meters (1,150 feet), where you have to rappel down and climb back up on a rope," he said. The cave system has tight spots where only a slim person can squeeze through, and explorers also have to contend with water, the mountain rescue service said.

Rescuers laid a telephone line several hundred meters deep on Monday to help the rescue effort, while others set up camps inside the cave system on the border with Austria. They were working in several small teams of up to four people each.

Some 52 cave rescue specialists from Bavaria and another 28 from Austria were at the scene.

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