Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Engineer returns after caving mishap




BY CINDI ANDREWS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The Warren County engineer was back on the job Monday after receiving minor injuries when he got stuck in a cave near Somerset, Ky., for five hours on Saturday.

        “The biggest fear I had was it getting to the news wire,” said Neil Tunison, 47.

        He was in the Sloans Valley cave in south central Kentucky, about 3 hours from Warren County, with about 20 Boy Scouts and 15 adults when his leg became wedged in a crevice.

        Some of the adults kept Mr. Tunison company while others went for help, he said.

        Rescuers freed him by tying a rope around his leg and using a crowbar to lift it.

        Mr. Tunison was treated at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and released.

        He said Monday his knee is hyperextended and he has some bruises.

        Claustrophobia was never a problem, Mr. Tunison said, but he might try to avoid tight spots in the future.

        “I'm just not nimble enough,” he said.

        The cave draws a lot of visitors, said Paul Coomer, captain of the Somerset Pulaski County Rescue Squad.

        Occasionally — perhaps once or twice a year — someone will get lost or fall in the cave, which is several miles long.

        “It's got a lot of tight places in it,” Capt. Coomer said.

       



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