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Caver rescue could take days

An injured researcher stuck deep inside an Alpine cave in Germany is able to walk with help, but an operation to bring him out could still take several days, mountain rescue officials said.

A team of six experts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland is with the patient, who is conscious.

The 52-year-old German was hit by falling rocks early on Sunday in the Riesending cave system near Berchtesgaden, on the Austrian border.

The accident happened more than three miles from the cave entrance. Access to the site about half a mile underground requires covering tricky terrain such as vertical shafts and narrow passages.

The rescue service has set up a radio communication system that allows rescuers to send text messages to the surface.

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