10. 06. 12. - 15:11
Fog stops Erzberg Rodeo
The Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo was cancelled on Saturday on safety grounds after numerous injuries because of heavy fog.
Organisers said that on Friday alone that rescue helicopters had been in operation six times taking badly injured riders to hospital.
One had suffered severe spinal injuries and another a broken hip and internal injury.
One of the injured motorists who came off the track ended up lying badly injured for three hours before he was discovered. It was only after he had failed to turn up at the finish line that rescuers were sent out to search for him.
He was so badly injured by that point that he needed to be put into an artificial coma.
The Erzberg Rodeo took place this weekend for the 18th time with 1,800 riders from 39 countries hoping to emerge as the final victor.
The event started badly for Manx Enduro star David Knight who was one of the first to be airlifted to hospital after an accident.
But the accident did little to dampen the huge enthusiasm for the annual spectacle that this year has attracted 40,000 visitors. It is regarded as the hardest Enduro-competition in the world.
The riders have to travel up astronomically steep slopes before plunging back down steep drops on the other side needing iron nerves and tremendous skill.
All of the possible free beds in the region have been completely booked up for weeks and Claudia Flatscher who is in charge of tourism for the region said: "This is a major boost to us – the bookings are simply unbelievable. Not only is Eisenerz completely full but the take-up on rooms has extended as far as Leoben, Bruck, and the Palten-Liesing-Erlebnistäler into Gesäuse and Gaishorn.
That includes more than 250 media organisations from 20 different countries that are reporting on the event including the American TV network NBC that broadcasts into 110 million homes in America.