The Canadian Press - Friday Feb. 14, 2014 02:52 ET

Russian worker struck by bobsled in stable condition

Broke both legs, airlifted to hospital for surgery

Bobsleigh track worker loaded into ambulance after being hit by sled
Emergency workers load a bobsleigh track worker into an ambulance after he was hit by a sled before training Thursday at the Sliding Center Sanki at the Sochi Olympics in Russia. (Charlie Riedel/Canadian Press)

The Russian ice worker struck by a speeding bobsled was conscious and in stable condition Friday after undergoing surgery on two broken legs, Olympic organizers said.

IOC and Sochi officials said they are still investigating why the worker was on the track and didn't hear the warning signals about the sled approaching.

A forerunning sled — sent down the track to make sure conditions were suitable for two-man training — crashed into the worker Thursday near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center.

The unidentified worker broke both legs and was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery late Thursday.

"The operation went smoothly," Sochi organizing committee spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina said Friday. "He's conscious. He's stable. He's good right now."

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: "We all wish him a speedy recovery."

Officials declined to give the man's identity or more details of his injuries, citing issues of medical privacy.

Sliding officials who reviewed video of Thursday's incident saw three men working near the finish line, two of them scurrying over the wall as the bobsled neared. The investigation centres on suspicions the workers could not hear any warnings that a sled was coming down the track.

One possibility was that the injured worker, who was using a motorized air blower, simply may not have been able to hear any announcement.

"We're still looking into what exactly happened there, so it's really premature to say why he was on the track after the alert went on," Kosterina said. 'So we're still looking into that."

The Sochi track was designed to be safer following the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumarishtavili at the Whistler Sliding Center in 2010.

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