Bobsled Accident: Worker on Track Has Two Broken Legs After Being Hit

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 02:53 PM

By Newsmax Wires

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A bobsled accident in Sochi left a track worker with two broken legs and a possible concussion, IOC officials told The Associated Press.

The worker was on the track when he was hit by a forerunning sled near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.

"We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a visit to The Associated Press office in Sochi.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Bach added that the worker "maybe" has a concussion.

Later, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the AP: "I understand he is conscious and talking and has two broken legs."

Sochi organizers said the unidentified man was taken by helicopter to a hospital, but gave no other information about his injuries. Officials said the crash took place just before the finish line, which would suggest that the sled likely had not yet started to brake.

"According to standard procedure, a warning signal was given ahead of the forerunners' bob beginning its run on the track," Sochi organizers said in a statement released more than three hours after the accident. "The reasons for the icemaker's presence on the track after the warning signal are currently being determined."

Also, officials said the luge team relay event scheduled to make its Olympic debut on Thursday will take place as scheduled.

The first bobsled training session was delayed at the start for about 35 minutes as a work crew repaired a light fixture that was apparently smashed in the accident. Also, the track was cleared of other debris that had fallen into the finish area.

Olympic bobsledders remained in the start area during the delay, well away from the crash location.

Forerunning sleds are used before training and competition sessions to assess track conditions and make sure the facility is safe for racing. Also, people in the vicinity of the track are almost always alerted that a sled is in the track through public-address announcements, though it was unclear why the worker struck was unaware that the session was beginning.

It's also unclear why the worker was on the track when the sled came out the final curve and approached the finish line. The sled that struck him was the second "forerunner" used before the training session.

Loudspeakers in the finish-deck area were working during training after the crash, though there has been at least one incident when the public-address system at the facility — an absolutely critical part of the track's safety plan — failed.

It went silent when the U.S. and other international luge teams visited the Sochi track for a training session in November after electricity was lost. That impacted lights, timing devices and the speaker system that allows sliders up top know when sleds at the bottom of the chute have been removed and the track is clear for the next competitor.

In turn, it also tells people in the finish area that a sled is on the way.

"We didn't really know what was going on," USA Luge coach Mark Grimmette said in November, when detailing how training was interrupted.

The Sochi track was designed to be safer following the death of luger Nodar Kumarishtavili in an accident hours before the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Games four years ago. There have been no major mishaps during any of the competition so far, and athletes have been complimentary of the track's condition.

"To be honest, the ice is phenomenal," U.S. skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender said following the first two heats of the women's competition, several hours before the mishap. "It's better than it was in training and whoever they got working on the ice, kudos, because they are doing Olympic level work on the track. It is fast and it's fun."

U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace was struck in 2005 by a bobsled in the outrun of a track in Canada. Her leg was shattered and she had to miss the 2006 Turin Olympics.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Passengers Push Plane on Icy Russian Runway (With Help of a Tractor)

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

Passengers on a Russian plane got off to push the aircraft to help get it on the runway after it began slipping on ice i . . .

Bernie Tiede, Convicted Murderer Mortician, to Get New Sentencing

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 17:39 PM

Bernie Tiede, the mortician who was convicted of killing his companion Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will receive a new sente . . .

Chrysler Pentastar Logo Getting Phased Out With FCA Formation

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Chrysler's iconic Pentastar logo is being phased out as the company introduces a new logo in keeping with the newly form . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved