French rescues 7 trapped cave explorers

Posted at 6:29 AM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 06:40:11-05

PARIS (AP) — French authorities have rescued seven spelunkers who had been trapped overnight in a cave in the Pyrenees region.

The Haute-Garonne prefecture launched a rescue operation Wednesday morning. Officials said that the seven were "lifted out of a chasm" and are "tired but not injured."

Spain's foreign ministry said that the trapped explorers are believed to be Spaniards and that the Spanish Consul in Toulouse has gone to 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 140 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Toulouse and around 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the Spanish border in the area of Arbas-Herran.