Story by: Aleksandra Stefanova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video credit: CEN/Steyr City Volunteer Firefighters
This is the moment a major rescue operation is launched after the Turkish driver of a 38-tonne lorry followed his satnav up an Alpine forest track and ended up almost falling from a 100-foot drop.
A mobile crane was needed to lift the lorry back on course while an excavator was called in to widen the track in an 11-hour rescue in the Steyr-Land district of the Austrian state of Upper Austria.
The 52-year-old driver had slavishly followed his GPS device – ignoring three separate ‘No Vehicles’ signs – along a series of increasingly narrow forest roads.
He ended up on a steep and narrow trail which a car would have struggled to negotiate – let alone a huge transcontinental lorry.
And the man, whose name has not been released, finally got stuck on a track, high above the Saigerinbach river, near the town of Weyer.
While trying to manoeuvre his way through, he ended up with the rear of the lorry hanging over a 30-metre (98-foot) drop over the river.
Fortunately, he was spotted by a national park forester who alerted the emergency services which launched a major rescue operation.
Two teams of firefighters, equipped with a mobile crane, an excavator, a bulldozer and support vehicles, were called to the scene.
It proved a delicate operation to get the huge vehicles close enough to the trapped juggernaut to even begin the operation and darkness was falling by the time the lorry was winched back onto the track.
Meanwhile, the excavator and the bulldozer had widened the track – pulling down trees and shifting rocks – to make the trail wide enough for the lorry to pass through.
Finally, in pitch blackness, the lorry was able to continue up the track to a timber yard wide enough for it to turn around and leave the forest the way it had entered.
There is no report on whether police are investigating the lorry driver for wasting the time and resources of the emergency services.
Picture credit: CEN/Steyr City Volunteer Firefighters