An Olympic track worker has broken both legs and possibly suffered a concussion after being struck by a forerunning bobsled, International Olympic Committee officials say. He was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter.
Track worker hit by bobsled at Olympic sliding center. Hit by forerunner sled. Condition unavailable. pic.twitter.com/OXIVVVkXF2— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 13, 2014
The worker was reportedly hit near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center, which means the bobsled probably had not yet started to break. The event occurred just before a two-man bobsledding training began. IOC President Thomas Bach told the Associated Press that "We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened." Bach said that the worker "maybe" sustained a concussion, and IOC spokesman Mark Adams followed that "I understand he is conscious and talking and has two broken legs."
Sochi organizers say they do not know why the accident occurred, and that every safety protocol had been met:
According to standard procedure, a warning signal was given ahead of the forerunners' bob beginning its run on the track. The reasons for the icemaker's presence on the track after the warning signal are currently being determined.
Forerunner sleds are used to make sure track conditions are safe ahead of athletic use. Announcements are made over PA systems before the sleds are sent out, and though there is no indication that transmission was faulty in this case, the systems have gone down in the past.
According to the Associated Press, The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation has not yet made a comment on the injury.