Efforts underway to rescue 5 people trapped in Slovenia cave

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(NEW YORK) — Efforts were underway Sunday to rescue five people who became trapped in a cave in southwestern Slovenia when torrential rains caused water levels to rise in the subterranean labyrinth, cutting off their exit routes, officials said.

A 22-year-old Slovenian man, his parents and two guides became trapped in the Krizna Jama cave on Saturday morning, Sandi Curk, head of the Regional Civil Protection Headquarters for the Notranjska Region, told ABC News.

Curk said heavy rain in the area caused the cave’s myriad of lakes to rise, stranding the tour group about 1 1/2 miles from the entrance to the cave.

Rescuers, according to Curk, will have to wait until the water level drops to extract the group.

Saturday evening rescue divers located the group and moved them to a safe area where they could set up heated tents, officials told The Associated Press.

Another team of divers on Sunday delivered food, drinking water and warm clothes to the marooned cave explorers, and checked on their psychological state, Curk told ABC News. A doctor, who is also a licensed diver, also examined all five people and is satisfied with their condition, Curk said.

The rescuers are optimistic about getting the trapped group out on Monday.

Curk said it takes rescuers up to five hours to reach the group.

Rescuers are contending with low visibility inside the cave and near-freezing water temperatures, Curk said.

ABC News’ Dada Javanovic contributed to this report.

 

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