Help has arrived for a man trapped in a place that would give anybody with claustrophobia nightmares: More than 3,000 feet below the surface in a cave rescuers say is one of the most difficult in Europe. The 52-year-old cave researcher was injured in a rock fall in the Riesending cave system, Germany's deepest, and there are some 200 people involved in the rescue operation, reports the BBC. The first rescue team reached the German man yesterday but it could take days to get him to the surface.
Officials say the man—who was one of the researchers who first found the cave system under the German Alps—is in stable condition, but it's not clear when a doctor will be able to reach him, the AP reports. Rescuers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are working in small teams and will need to get the injured man through nearly four miles of a rock labyrinth that includes extremely tight spots, water, and vertical shafts that go straight down more than 1,000 feet. (Read more caves stories.)