Singaporean man injured in Hungary cave rescued in 2 hours, Latest World News - The New Paper

Singaporean man injured in Hungary cave rescued in 2 hours

A 32-year-old Singaporean man was rescued by a 29-strong team after injuring his leg during a guided cave exploration tour in Hungary on March 22.

In response to The Straits Times’ queries, Hungarian Cave Rescue Service (BMSz) president Miklos Nyerges said on March 25 that the non-governmental organisation had received an alert at noon on March 22 that a caver had hurt his ankle in the Matyas-hegyi cave.

Dr Nyerges said that the first BMSz rescuer arrived at the cave, which is close to Budapest’s city centre, at 12.26pm.

At 1.20pm, three BMSz members – a doctor, a paramedic and an assistant – descended into the cave first.

They found that the Singaporean man was at a depth of about 40m from an exit of the cave, said Dr Nyerges. However, because the man had to be carried on a stretcher, the rescue team took a route of 400m to 500m to “avoid difficult points” to reach the exit, he explained.

A post on BMSz’s website dated March 22 said that the injured man “was found to be in good condition and the cave tour guide had provided him with thermal protection against (the) cold”, adding that the temperature in the cave was 12 deg C.

The injured man’s vital readings – including blood pressure, blood oxygen level and body temperature – were normal, it added.

“The injured ankle was fixed in a splint and we made him transportable. The patient’s pain was also minimised by proper limb fixation,” said BMSz.

More rescuers had arrived in the meantime, and they constructed ropeways and pulley systems to lift the injured man to the surface – an operation that took 1½ hours.

The injured man reached the surface at 3.22pm, and an ambulance took him to the nearby Hungarian Army Medical Centre.

The Singaporean man, whom Dr Nyerges declined to name, had joined an adventure caving trip, but it was unclear whether on March 22 he had been part of a group.

Dr Nyerges said that such trips usually feature groups of between five and 10 people plus a guide.

The Singaporean man was at a depth of about 40m, said the head of the rescue organisation. PHOTO: MARTON KOVACS, BMSZ

In response to ST’s queries, Singapore’s consulate in Hungary on March 25 said that the Singaporean, who had written a note to thank the people who had helped him, is now in Glasgow, Scotland. His note on March 24 said that he was awaiting surgery.

BMSz, established in 1961, rescues tourists and advanced-level explorers from caves in Hungary and abroad.

The Matyas-hegyi cave was formed by the thermal waters beneath Matyas Hill on the edge of the capital of Budapest. The cave is part of the longest cave system in Hungary that is more than 32km long.

It attracts 4,000 to 5,000 visitors each year, said Dr Nyerges.


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