Fungus-hunter survives 20-hour well ordeal

A man who fell into a well while picking mushrooms in southern Attica on Monday was plucked out virtually unhurt by rescuers yesterday after spending some 20 hours trapped underground. Sotiris Parakis, 50, had set off with his brother on a fungus-hunting expedition near Keratea, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Athens, on Monday afternoon. When he disappeared without trace, his brother – who knew the area was dotted with old, open well shafts – called the police. Fire brigade and police rescuers launched an extensive search, which continued all night without bearing fruit. Parakis was finally located at the bottom of the well around 11 a.m. yesterday, and was extricated after a full two hours. The mushroom picker was treated for bruising and extensive scratches.