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IOC: Bobsled Track Worker Has Broken Legs

An Olympic track worker struck by a bobsled broke both legs and may have a concussion, IOC officials said Thursday.

The worker was on the track when he was hit by a forerunning sled near the finish line at the Sanki Sliding Center, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.

"We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a visit to The Associated Press' office in Sochi.

Bach added that the worker "maybe" has a concussion.

Later, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the AP: "I understand he is conscious and talking and has two broken legs."

Sochi organizers said the unidentified man was taken by helicopter to a hospital, but gave no other information about his injuries. Officials said the crash took place just before the finish line, which would suggest that the sled likely had not yet started to brake.

"According to standard procedure, a warning signal was given ahead of the forerunners' bob beginning its run on the track," Sochi organizers said in a statement released more than three hours after the accident. "The reasons for the icemaker's presence on the track after the warning signal are currently being determined."

Also, officials said the luge team relay event scheduled to make its Olympic debut on Thursday will take place as scheduled.

The first bobsled training session was delayed at the start for about 35 minutes as a work crew repaired a light fixture that was apparently smashed in the accident. Also, the track was cleared of other debris that had fallen into the finish area.

Olympic bobsledders remained in the start area during the delay, well away from the crash location.

Forerunning sleds are used before training and competition sessions to assess track conditions and make sure the facility is safe for racing. Also, people in the vicinity of the track are almost always alerted that a sled is in the track through public-address announcements, though it was unclear why the worker struck was unaware that the session was beginning.

It is also unclear why the worker was on the track when the sled came out the final curve and approached the finish line. The sled that struck him was the second "forerunner" used before the training session.

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