LIMA, Peru (AP) – Rescuers were working Thursday to save an injured Spanish speleologist who has been trapped for a week about 1,300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region.
Cecilio López was hurt when he fell 16 feet inside the Inti Machay cave in a ravine in Leimebamba district, 376 miles northeast of the capital, Lima.
Rescue coordinator James Apaestegui said a doctor had reached López and found the well-known cave explorer had two damaged lumbar vertebrae that limit his movement.
"Cecilio López is lying face up. He can move laterally but he cannot stand up," said Apaestegui, who is a researcher at the Geophysical Institute of Peru and President of the Andino Caving Club.
Rescuers said they have been getting food, water and medicine to López, but his extraction has been made difficult by the remoteness of the cave and the cavern itself, which narrows at places.
"He's accompanied (by someone at all times), and is waiting for the stretcher to arrive to begin the evacuation," Apaestegui said, adding that López was in good spirits.
Speleologists are scientists who study caves.
Foreign and Peruvian cavers are among those trying to rescue López, including a large contingent from Spain.