KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach says a track worker struck by a bobsled at the Sanki Sliding Center suffered a broken leg and "maybe a concussion."
The worker was hit by a forerunning sled in the braking area near the finish line on the track being used for sliding races at the Sochi Olympics, just before the start of Thursday's two-man bobsled training.
The session was delayed for about 35 minutes before getting underway. Officials at the track did not immediately release any information about the worker's condition, though an ambulance was seen leaving the track shortly after the incident.
"We still do not know why he was in this zone and exactly what happened," Bach said in a visit to the AP office in Sochi. "The information we have so far is that he has a broken leg and maybe a concussion. We are following up on this matter. "
A work crew was seen repairing a light fixture that was suspended several feet over the ice surface, as well as picking up pieces of debris from the finish area. Olympic athletes remained in the start area, well away from the crash location, during the delay.
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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 Thursday was unaware that the session was beginning.
In 2005, U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace was struck by a bobsled in the outrun of a track in Canada, shattering a leg and ultimately causing her to miss the 2006 Turin Olympics because of the injury. And the Sanki track was designed with several safety initiatives in mind after Georgian slider Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a luge training accident at the Whistler Sliding Center just hours before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.