A trapped caver rescued by a rescue team in Spain

A seriously injured caver was saved alive after workers fought a 17-hour battle to drill and blast a path through rock to reach him.

A team of more than 50 rescuers were involved in the operation to save the 60-year-old woman from Cueva de la Gitana in the Sierra de María-Los Vélez Natural Park in Spain when she suffered a fall which left her was left with head injuries.

At the time of her rescue, the woman was conscious despite the severe head trauma and injuries to one of her wrists.

Local media reported that she had to be carried on a stretcher but the passages in the cave were too narrow.

The Spanish Civil Guard is coordinating a large deployment to rescue an injured woman from a cave in the Cueva de la Gitana in the Sierra de María-Los Vélez Natural Park in May 2022.
Civil Guard/Zenger

The video showed the helmeted rescuers in tight spaces as they snaked ropes and equipment well below the surface in the otherwise dark space.

Coordinated by the Spanish Civil Guard, experts drilled and blasted their way through the rock to make way for medical personnel to transport it to safety.

Blasting a trail took about two hours, but it took another two hours to get the injured caver to safety as rescuers fought their way with her through the cave.

Once brought to the surface, she was rushed to Torrecardenas University Hospital in Almeria, on the southeast coast of Spain, at 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Emergency services in Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain, received a call for help on May 21 at noon from a group of cavers who reported that one of their members had done a waterfall in the Cueva de la Gitana.

More than 50 people took part in the rescue, including Civil Guard mountaineers, firefighters, police and cavers.

In addition, two doctors from the Andalusian health service were on site.

Accelerated to the scene by helicopter from Malaga, one of the medics descended into the cave where he stabilized the caver before rescue work began.

A video released by the Civil Guard showed that rescuers carried the caver, isolated against the cold, on a specialized stretcher through the cave and through an iron door and bars at the entrance.

Once out of the cave during the pre-dawn hours, the caver was taken to an ambulance awaiting transfer to hospital.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.