Goose Creek man falls from cliff in Kazakhstan
BY PHILLIP CASTON
Of The Post and Courier Staff
A 25-year-old Goose Creek man was recovering Sunday in Vienna, Austria, after falling off a cliff in Medeu, Kazakhstan, in Central Asia.
Jason Abernathy of Millburgh Lane suffered at least one broken ankle and possibly broken bones in both legs Thursday afternoon while rock climbing, Mount Pleasant native John Snyder, 50, said by telephone Sunday night from his hotel room in Almaty in southeastern Kazakhstan.
Abernathy fell about 20 feet onto jagged rocks when a steel support on a rock face broke off, Snyder said.
Abernathy was flown to a hospital in Vienna on Saturday, Snyder said. While he did not think Abernathy's injuries were life-threatening, there was a risk of infection, Snyder said.
"The X-ray facilities here in Kazakhstan are rather primitive," Snyder said. The U.S. Embassy did not have advanced medical facilities, either.
Evacuating Abernathy proved to be a diplomatic challenge, according to Snyder. He could not go to Moscow because he did not have a Russian visa, and the doctor from Austria was temporarily delayed because he did not have a visa from Kazakhstan, Snyder said.
Abernathy and Snyder were on assignment for the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, Snyder said. The two men work for a contracting firm based in Charleston. Snyder would not elaborate on which firm they work for or what they do for the embassy in Kazakhstan.