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US caver who was trapped 1,000 metres deep in Turkey may be rescued by Tuesday

ANKARA – An American caver who had become trapped more than 1,000 metres underground in southern Turkey has been moved closer to the surface and is expected to be rescued by Tuesday morning, rescuers said.

Mark Dickey, 40, was on an international exploration expedition in the Morca cave in Mersin province’s Taurus mountains when he reportedly began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding at a depth of 1,040 metres.

“I cannot say the exact time (he will exit the cave) but I guess this night or tomorrow morning, if everything goes on the way,” said the Medical Coordinator for the Cave Rescue Commission, Tulga Sener.

Previous footage from the operation showed Dickey lying inside the cave and receiving treatment by a medical team. Footage also showed other teams moving down the caves with ropes and making their way through narrow passages.

“Mark’s general health is very good but he cannot be fed through the mouth therefore he is being fed intravenously all the way through,” Sener added.

“Mark is actually currently (…) about two hundred meters below the entrance. It is a very particular phase of the cave here because there are so many slopes it is a bit tricky,” Giuseppe Conti, European Cave Rescue Association technical commission chairperson, told reporters.

“This is another kind of difficulty so this will last for a few hours for sure,” Conti said.

More than 150 rescuers from Turkey and other countries have been working for days to rescue him from the country’s third deepest cave.

“Mark reached the last 180 metres in 16:26, local time (3.26 pm GMT). Now he will rest here for a while,” the Speleological Federation of Turkey wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

“The rescue operation will continue from the -180 metres after Mark has rested at the camp here for a while. If everything goes well, it is aimed to rescue Mark completely by tonight or tomorrow.” REUTERS

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