Freak bobsledding accident leaves one worker injured

A track worker is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured when a forerunner bobsled hit him just before the start of the men's two-man bobsled training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — A freak accident rattled the sliding center here on Thursday as a track worker suffered two broken legs when he was hit by a bobsled.

The accident occurred near the finish line, according to those who saw a video of the incident. Three workers were clearing the track during a training session when a forerunner sleigh approached rapidly. Two of the workers leapt out of the track, but a third was hit and "thrown several feet into the air," according to Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune. The worker landed in the track on the other side of the oncoming sleigh and then was treated by paramedics and airlifted to a nearby hospital.

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A forerunner is meant to test the track in advance of competing sleighs. Workers line the bottom of the track to clear it of shaved ice and other debris. There is a warning system in place to let workers know when a sleigh is on the track, but it's unclear why these workers were seemingly unaware of the approaching vehicle.

It is not known how fast the forerunner was going when it hit the worker.

IOC President Thomas Bach told Reuters that the worker is undergoing surgery, but no further update is available at this time. The driver was reportedly uninjured.

The luge relay, set to begin at 8:15 p.m. local time, was not delayed.

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