Authorities rescued five men Sunday who were trapped underground in a cave in southwest Virginia since Friday.
One man managed to get out of the cave early Sunday morning and went for help, according to news reports, but the other five were trapped inside after heavy rains created slippery conditions, making it impossible for them to climb out.
“I’m happy to report that all individuals have been safely rescued from the cave in Cleveland, Virginia,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a social media post
Northam also thanked first responders, which included rescue personnel from multiple local and state groups and agencies.
The men, between the ages of 34 and 59, had gone to explore the cave, known as Cyclops Cave, and expected to camp inside until Sunday, but the heavy rains Saturday made conditions uncomfortable, according to CNN.
The group was suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion when they were rescued, according to Virginia Department of Emergency Management search and rescue coordinator Billy Chimes, WJHL-TV reported. All five were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The cave is part of a network of five big caves that stretches for around 9 miles, according to CNN, and is popular with explorers.
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