A worker has been struck and injured by a bobsleigh on the sliding track at Sochi, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has confirmed. The man was hospitalized with both legs broken.
The worker - an icemaker - was struck by the forerunner sleigh near the braking zone before the start of two-man bob training on Thursday. A warning signal had been given, the IOC's statement said.
"The information we have so far is that he suffered two compound fractures in the legs, but arrived conscious at the hospital. We are continuing to monitor the situation," Bach said.
Forerunner bobs are used before training and race sessions to test track conditions and ensure that courses are safe for use. The training session got under way after a delay of 35 minutes, with the start time of the luge relay medal event also pushed back.
The accident comes a day after the four-year anniversary of the death of the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Kumaritashvili died when he lost control in the final turn of a training run and was thrown off his luge and over wall of the track.
His death prompted modifications to the original design of the Sanki Sliding Centre track for the 2014 games, including the addition of three uphill sections to slow sleds down.
"To be honest, the ice is phenomenal," US skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender had said after the first two heats of the women's competition, several hours before the accident. "It's better than it was in training and whoever they got working on the ice, kudos, because they are doing Olympic-level work on the track. It is fast and it's fun."
ph/mkg (AP, AFP, dpa)