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Olympics-Bobsleigh-Track worker breaks both legs

Reuters

* Worker suffers two broken legs when hit by 'forerunner'

* IOC president says worker undergoes surgery (Adds official statement)

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 13 (Reuters) - A track worker at the Winter Olympics was struck by a bobsleigh and suffered two broken legs on Thursday, the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach told Reuters.

The start of official training for the two-man event was delayed by around 35 minutes as the worker was treated, then taken to hospital after being hit by the "forerunner", which is sent down the track ahead of the official competitors to check for safety.

"A track worker was struck in the run-off area beyond the finish but we are not sure yet how it happened," Bach said.

"According to our information he has suffered two compound fractures in the legs but he arrived conscious at the hospital.

"He is to undergo surgery and we will, of course, continue to monitor his situation and wish him well."

Games organisers said a warning signal had been given prior to the forerunner beginning its run at the Sanki Sliding Centre and the reason for the worker being on the track was still being investigated.

"During today's official bobsleigh training session and according to standard procedure, a warning signal was given ahead of the forerunners' bob beginning its run on the track," they said in a statement.

"Near the braking zone, the forerunners' bob collided with an icemaker. The worker was injured, received immediate medical assistance on the track and was then taken to hospital.

"The reasons for the icemaker's presence on the track after the warning signal are currently being determined." (Reporting by Justin Palmer/Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)

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