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Cave Explorer Rescued From North Georgia Cave After Breaking Leg

January 5, 1987

LAFAYETTE, Ga. (AP) _ A cave explorer who broke his leg in a rock fall and was trapped overnight 580 feet underground was rescued today from the deepest cave in the eastern United States, authorities said.

Bill Putnam, an instructor at Georgia Tech’s School of Information and Computer Science, was brought out of Ellison’s Cave around 7:30 a.m. and was listed in stable condition at Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe.

The cave, on Pigeon Mountain in extreme northwest Georgia, is the deepest in the eastern United States, said Allen Padgett, a state Department of Natural Resources spokesman.

Putnam broke his leg around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when loose rock fell against his leg as he explored the cave with companions, Padgett said.

Putnam, an experienced cave explorer in his mid-20s, was not pinned by the rock fall, but was unable to move on his own. His companions, who were not immediately identified, left the cave to seek help.

Padgett said about 60 people aided in the rescue. The rescuers had to go about 1,000 feet in and about 580 feet down, reaching Putnam at about 9 p.m., Padgett said.

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