Rescuers at the scene with the climber where a large section of the quarry crashed to the ground. Photo: Woodhead MRT

Rescuers at the scene with the climber where a large section of the quarry crashed to the ground. Photo: Woodhead MRT

A climber is lucky to be alive after a large section of quarry disappeared from beneath his feet as he was preparing to abseil down the rockface.

The man was with a friend at Thurlstone Quarry near Penistone in South Yorkshire on Wednesday when part of the ground collapsed.

Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, which was called out to deal with the incident, said it ranked number one in the lucky-to-be-alive charts.

The pair had been planning some routes in the quarry and had visited the site over the past few weeks. They intended to abseil down the crag to carry out some cleaning.

A Woodhead MRT spokesperson said: “They had just set up a belay at the top when one of the climbers decided to fetch his shovel and on his return was about to clip in, when the whole of the top of the crag gave way beneath him sending him plummeting to the bottom of the crag some seven metres.

“Unbelievably, the climber managed to stay on the rock avoiding the unthinkable and lay in wait for the emergency services to arrive after his friend had raised the alarm.

“He was treated for suspected spinal injuries and a possible leg injury, transferred into a vacuum mattress for immobilisation and on to the stretcher for the carry-out of the quarry to the ambulance.”

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a Hazardous Area Response Team from Leeds and ambulance paramedics also went to the incident.

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