Spain's Civil Guard says it has rescued an injured French spelunker after a three-day rescue operation that required 50 controlled mini-detonations to blast open an escape route through the twisting cave.

The Civil Guard says the 37-year-old man was part of a group exploring the cave in the northern province of Navarra on Wednesday when a rock fell on him, immobilizing him with injuries to his back and stomach.

Rescue specialists needed to make the controlled mini-detonations at different points in the narrow cave so they could carry the spelunker out on a stretcher from 650 feet underground to the surface.

The guards say the rescue was safely completed early Saturday morning. The spelunker was treated at the site and then transported to a hospital in France.