LIMA (AFP) – An injured Spanish spelunker trapped in a 400-metre (1,312-feet) deep cave in Peru was rescued Tuesday, fellow explorers said, ending his 12-day ordeal.
Cecilio Lopez Sanchez, 40, was trapped nearly two weeks ago while exploring a cave in Chachapoyas in northeastern Peru.
A 50-person team of explorers descended more than two kilometres to reach Sanchez, who was evacuated on a stretcher after the complicated, hours-long mission from the Intimachay cave in the Andes’ Leimebamba region.
A Peruvian air force helicopter airlifted the spelunker to the area’s only airport in Chachapoyas.
The Madrid native was later moved to hospital in the Peruvian capital, Lima, where he is reported to be recovering well.
“The injured person is in stable condition, in good health and is being helped by several doctors,” police chief Jorge Luis Calderon told AFP. Sanchez, who suffered several spinal injuries, was greeted by cheering rescue workers when he emerged from the cave, according to local media.
The seasoned cave explorer belonged to a Spanish diving club, EspeleoKandil. He had several years of experience exploring caves in Peru where he studied ancient pre-Columbian civilizations.
Heavy rains, strong winds and cold temperatures complicated the rescue mission, which was conducted from 3,000 metres above sea level.