Tai­wanese trapped on Ay­ers Rock res­cued, now re­cov­er­ing: MOFA

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

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 hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, she said.

Kao made the re­marks when asked to com­ment on Aus­tralian me­dia re­ports that the 27-yearold 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 hos­pi­tal­ized 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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