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Posted by / 01-Mar-2020 10:18

A curiously-fashioned axe they discovered near the corpse was taken to a gendarmerie post in Sölden.

The Austrian authorities decided to wait until the following week to resume the recovery; the helicopter, they explained, was needed for more important things.

Their Austrian counterparts, who had already pulled eight corpses out of glaciers that summer, said they would investigate by the next afternoon.

The following day, an Austrian policeman arrived by helicopter and attempted, with the assistance of a mountain rescue keeper, to free the body with a pneumatic jackhammer.

There, except for 30-minute intervals when it was subsequently removed for CAT scans and other scientific tests, the Iceman was stored at 98% humidity and -6 degrees C (21.2 degrees F), the glacial temperature that it had grown accustomed to over the many, many, years prior to its discovery.

Agreements were reached between the relevant authorities allowing for the continued responsibility for the investigation of the corpse to lie with the Forensic Institute at Innsbruck.Although some eight bodies had already been recovered from the high alps already in 1991 an archaeological expert was called in to give advice in this particular case because some of the artifacts discovered with the body seemed to be potentially very ancient.It was only then, after five days of heavy-handed mistreatment, that the Iceman was given professional assessment.One of the on-lookers used a pickaxe in further attempts to free the body from the melting ice. Whilst the frozen body itself was being removed under the supervision of the forensics expert the process was being recorded on film by a film crew brought to the site by news of the unusual find.The remains were then taken from the mountain by helicopter to the town of Vent in the Austrian Ötz Valley and then on to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria.

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The task was made difficult by the presence of quantities of icy melt water and the powerful tool they were using actually chewed up the Iceman's garments and even ripped into his left hip, exposing the bone.