American Trapped In Cave, Rescue Underway

The evacuation of an experienced American caver and researcher who fell ill more than 3,000 feet below the entrance of a cave in Turkey has begun.

Here’s What Happened

Rescue teams began the arduous process Saturday of extricating an American researcher who became seriously ill while he was 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) below the entrance of a cave in Turkey, an official from Turkey’s disaster management agency said.

The expert caver was helping lead an international caving expedition when he started suffering intestinal problems “that rapidly progressed into life-threatening bleeding and vomiting,” the New Jersey Initial Response Team said in a statement.

“The doctors we sent down were very successful in treating him,” Cenk Yildiz, a regional official from Turkey’s disaster relief agency, told the IHA news agency. “We are now in a position to evacuate him.”

It could take days to bring Mark Dickey to the surface since rescuers anticipate he will have to stop and rest frequently at camps set up along the way as they pull his stretcher through the narrow passages.

“This afternoon, the operation to move him from his camp at 1040 meters to the camp at 700 meters began,” the official from the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate told The Associated Press.

“This is a difficult operation. It would take a (healthy) person 16 hours to come out. This operation will last at least three or four days,” Yildiz continued. “Our priority is health. Our aim is to conclude this operation without anyone coming under any danger.”

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