A MAN was airlifted to hospital with head, leg and spinal injuries yesterday after falling 40 feet down a gorge.

The man, in his 30s, was in a serious condition in Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, last night after falling froma cliff at Gellifelen, in Clydach Gorge, near Llanellly Hill.

The incident sparked a major rescue involving the police, ambulance, and fire services as well as mountain rescue teams.

The ambulance service said they received a call at 2.35pm about a man who had fallen approximately 40 feet from a cliff on to rocks below and sustained head injuries.

An RAF helicopter was sent to find him, assisted by the fire service and Mountain Rescue Teams from Longtown, Central Beacons and Brecon.

Eye witnesses said one of the rescue team had to be winched down to the casualty from the helicopter.

The injured man was then winched back up to the helicopter, and flown to Nevill Hall Hospital.

Nathan Edwards, 24, from Blaenavon, was driving through the area when he sawemergency services on the rescue mission.

He said: “I heard someone had lost their footing and gone over the edge whilst walking.

“The helicopter seemed to be using some kind of smoke grenade to measure the depth of the gorge, before a man was winched down with a recovery basket and rescued the man. It took about 30 minutes.

“I couldn’t see the casualty but he was covered with a blanket and was wearing an oxygen mask.”

An ambulance service spokesman said the man had sustained serious injuries, in particular to his left leg and a possible spinal injury.