19 Rescued After Flash Flood Traps Them in Kentucky Cave

ehrlif/iStock/Thinkstock(HORSE CAVE, Ky.) -- Nineteen people have been rescued after a flash food trapped them in a Kentucky cave Thursday afternoon, officials said.

It is unclear how the rescue unfolded.

Around 10 a.m., 21 college-aged students entered the cave on a guided tour, said Kerry McDaniel, Hart County emergency management director. Afternoon thunderstorms around 2 p.m. produced flash flooding, which caused rising water to cut off passages and access points at the Hidden River Cave and American Cave Museum, McDaniel said.

A police officer who went in to retrieve the students was among the people trapped, McDaniel said. The students were accompanied by experienced guides, who officials had hoped would bring them to a safe passage known as the "Attic Room."

It was not clear what happened to the other students, but all are accounted for.

There is no cell service in the cave, and no one can hear the people who were trapped, McDaniel said.

The cave sits under the town of Horse Cave. Three dive teams responded to the scene, and officials initially thought it could take anywhere from 12 to 14 hours before a rescue attempt could be made due to the rough river currents.

Some people were trapped as far as five miles in the cave, McDaniel said.

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