It took over 12 hours and 50 people, but a man was finally rescued after he was trapped deep inside a cave near Canmore.
The man in his 40s had been with a tour group Monday night when he suddenly got stuck.
It happened in Rat’s Nest Cave in Grotto Mountain, about six kilometres east of Canmore along Highway 1A. This particularly tight area of the cave is called The Laundry Chute, more than 300 metres inside the four-kilometre long tunnel.
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“It was kind of like a tube,” described Christian Stenner of the Alberta/BC Cave Rescue Service. “You would go feet first down the tube and you would have rock very close to you on either side and not a whole lot of room to maneuver.”
The man had been trapped for about an hour before the group he was with decided to call for help.
“There was quite a bit of rock to remove in order to get the person through the passage, so it’s not a usual occurrence for us to deal with at all,” Stenner said.
It took rescuers from several different agencies over nine hours to free the man. They were forced to chisel him out, chipping away at the cave to help him escape.
A long night in the Rat’s Nest Cave system for Confined Space and Cave Rescue Technicians. #MutualAid #TeamWork pic.twitter老域名购买/xT4Lxl0S00
— Canmore Fire-Rescue (@CanmoreFireRes) April 26, 2016
“We had two things that we use primarily,” Chief Todd Sikorsky with Canmore Fire-Rescue said. “It was cordless hammer drills and then we also had a pneumatic jackhammer that we were using down there as well.”
The man was exhausted and cold, but virtually unharmed.
First responders said this was the man’s first attempt at caving and also a first for many among those helping to rescue him.