published Friday, June 27th, 2014

Entrance to German cave sealed after rescue

Rescuers carry the stretcher with injured German cave researcher Johann Westhauser out of the country's deepest cavern near Berchtesgaden at the German-Austrian border in this June 19, 2014, photo.
Rescuers carry the stretcher with injured German cave researcher Johann Westhauser out of the country's deepest cavern near Berchtesgaden at the German-Austrian border in this June 19, 2014, photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BERLIN — Authorities have sealed off the entrance to Germany's deepest cave, a week after an injured researcher was hauled out of the cavern after a lengthy, labor-intensive rescue.

Philipp Bahnmueller, a spokesman for Bavaria's forestry office, said the Riesending cave system's entrance was closed off Friday with a metal grille.

Regional officials acted quickly to make sure that the highly publicized multinational rescue operation, which lasted nearly two weeks, didn't attract inexperienced cavers seeking risky thrills.

Experts will still be granted access to the cave, whose entrance is on a mountainside near the Austrian border.

The experienced German cave researcher who was injured by falling rocks nearly 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) underground is recovering in a hospital.

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