Taiwanese trapped on Ayers Rock rescued, now recovering

Taiwanese trapped on Ayers Rock rescued, now recovering
The tourist fell about 20 meters into a crevice high on Uluru on Thursday and spent the night with multiple limb fractures and head injuries.
PHOTO: NORTH TERRITORY TOURIST COMMIS

TAIPEI - The condition of a Taiwanese tourist who was rescued after being trapped for more than 24 hours on Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, has stabilized, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao yesterday told The China Post that the R.O.C. national is currently being treated for his injuries at Alice Springs Hospital. He suffered from broken bones and multiple fractures but his condition has stabilized since his hospitalisation, she said.

Kao made the remarks when asked to comment on Australian media reports that the 27-year-old Taiwanese man is recovering in a hospital after being rescued.

The tourist fell about 20 meters into a crevice high on Uluru on Thursday and spent the night with multiple limb fractures and head injuries, according to an ABC report.

The man became trapped after splitting off from his group to take a shortcut. He was rescued early Friday in what police described as a slow and difficult process involving a helicopter and an abseiling operation.

The man is now stable and in a general ward in Alice Springs Hospital, the ABC report said.

Earlier reports said the Taiwanese was in a critical condition, with reported pelvic and multiple limb fractures as well as head injuries and hypothermia, according to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Keith Hutton, who coordinated the tourist's rescue, told ABC yesterday that the operation took 10 hours because of dangerous conditions on the rock.

"We had to take extra special care to make sure everything was anchored off correctly.

"Everyone was on safety lines because of the sheer drops and where we were," he said.

Asked to comment, Kao yesterday said Taiwan's representative office in Australia has been in close contact with Australian police authorities and rescue teams following the accident even though the Taiwanese did not call the office for assistance.

According to the information they received, following his rescue, the Taiwanese tourist first had been flown to a clinic near Uluru for initial treatment before he was flown to Alice Springs Hospital.

After learning of the accident, the office immediately dispatched personnel from its Brisbane branch office to visit the hospitalised Taiwanese. The office is the closest branch office to the hospital in Northern Territory, but it is still several thousand kilometers away, she noted.

The office also established contact with the family of the R.O.C. citizen and will offer all necessary assistance to them, Kao noted.

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