Europe

Spain cave rescue: Four Portuguese divers rescued after tunnels flood

Members of Spanish rescue services escort four missing Portuguese men who were rescued after being trapped at a cave in Arredondo Image copyright EPA
Image caption The four missing Portuguese men were pictured with Spanish rescuers after emerging from the cave

Four Portuguese cavers have been rescued after a sudden flood trapped them in a cave network in Cantabria, northern Spain.

The four, from a climbing club in Porto, went missing on Saturday in the Cueto-Coventosa caves near Arredondo.

Rescuers got about 50m (55 yards) into one cave on Sunday, but the high water level made it too risky to carry on.

The group emerged at around 19:00 local time (18:00 BST) and told local press that they were all in good health.

"I'm glad because in a moment I'll be able to call my parents," one of the cavers told Portuguese news channel SIC Notícias.

A video posted on Facebook by Esocan, the local cave rescue group, showed a torrent of water rushing into the cave during the relief operation.

Three others from the Portuguese club initially went looking for the group on Sunday, after their fellow cavers failed to communicate, but they were blocked by rising waters and called the emergency services.

The four missing Portuguese were all "very experienced cavers, aged about 30", club leader Vitor Gandra told Portugal's Lusa news agency. But they were caught out by rising water levels, Mr Gandra said.

Three cavers were rescued from the same network in July.

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