Germany: Rescuers free two men trapped in flooded cave | News | DW | 29.07.2019
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Germany: Rescuers free two men trapped in flooded cave

Two men exploring Germany's Falkenstein cave were trapped after heavy rains caused the cave to flood, blocking their exit. Divers have now extracted them.

The two men trapped in a flooded cave in Germany's Swabian Alps region have been rescued, the leader of the mountain search and rescue team said on Monday.

Authorities launched a major rescue operation on Sunday evening to save the two men.

According to the fire department, a cave guide and a tourist were exploring Falkenstein cave when rising water levels blocked their exit.

Strong storms and heavy rainfall at the weekend caused the level of the Elsach River, which flows through the cave, to quickly rise, the Stuttgarter Zeitung reported.

After several hours, rescue divers were able to locate the men, who were in a section of the cave that is reasonably well-protected from the rising waters.

Höhlenrettungs-Großübung in der Falkensteiner Höhle (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Murat)

Falkenstein Cave is regularly used for rescue training, such as this exercise in 2006

Rescue briefly halted

Despite locating the men, authorities were forced to halt the rescue operation on Sunday night as the rushing flood waters made it too dangerous to try and extract the men, who are reportedly in their 30s.

Rescue divers brought the two men food, water and warm neoprene suits.

The Falkenstein cave is part of the Swabian Alb mountain range and a popular tourist destination. The cave is also frequently used to train cave rescue missions.

mkg, sri/aw (dpa, AFP)

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