In pictures: Germany cave rescue operation

  • 12 June 2014
  • From the section Europe
A spelunker explores the Riesending cave near Marktschellenberg, Germany

Two doctors have finally reached an injured man trapped in Germany's deepest cave - the Riesending - since Sunday, mountain rescue officials say.

A rescuer in the cave

Johann Westhauser, 52, was hurt by a rock fall in the 1,000m-deep (3,280ft) cave. The officials warn that the rescue operation is likely to last several days, negotiating the cave system's narrow passages and vertical shafts.

A spelunker on a boat inside the cave

After medical checks the doctors will decide when Mr Westhauser is ready for the ascend. It is believed he will be moved gradually from one base station to another until he reaches the surface.

A rescuer descends into the Riesending cave

The 19.2km long and 1,148m deep Riesending cave - "massive thing" in German - is in the Unterberg mountain range on the border with Austria. Narrow tunnels can only be reached by abseiling down.

A helicopter delivers rescuers near the entrance to the the Riesending cave

Rescuers were earlier flown by helicopter to the cave's entrance...

Rescuers at a tent camp near the cave's entrance

They set up a tent camp serving as the headquarters for the rescue operation.