French rescue 7 spelunkers trapped overnight in cave

Associated Press

Paris — French authorities on Wednesday rescued seven Spanish spelunkers who had been trapped overnight in a cave in the Pyrenees region.

The Haute-Garonne prefecture launched a successful rescue operation in the morning, and said that the six men and one woman were “lifted out of a chasm” and are “tired but not injured.” Officials say a doctor is at the scene to provide a medical checkup.

Officials said that the Spaniards were part of a group of 15 explorers who began a descent on Tuesday afternoon and eventually got trapped. Eight managed to escape to the surface during the night, and contacted authorities at around 4 a.m.

Spain’s foreign ministry said that the Spanish consul in Toulouse was at the scene.

Extreme weather and recent heavy rain have caused flooding in some caves in the mountainous region — well-known to cave explorers. It’s about 85 miles southwest of Toulouse and around 20 miles from the Spanish border in the area of Arbas-Herran.