19 Clemson students rescued from Kentucky cave


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courtesy - weather channel
courtesy - weather channel

A group of Clemson students studying geology planned on a simple five-hour trip exploring the scenic Hidden River Cave on Thursday in Horse Cave, KY.

However, it all went horribly wrong when torrential rain started around 3 p.m. CT after they had entered the cave at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Twenty-one people including 19 Clemson students and two tour guides were trapped as flash flooding blocked off key access points and the main exit. Two police offers were also trapped around 3 p.m. searching for the group but eventually got out safely.

There was more than 100 emergency personnel including a dive team at the scene, but there was no communication because the missing group had moved into a portion of the cave called "The Attic" that had a higher ceiling.

"When they came out of the cave, they were neck-deep in water," Hart County Emergency Management Director Kerry McDaniel told the Associated Press.

"The waters were continuing to rise under the flash flood," he added. "They saw an opportunity to exit the cave, so they took the chance."

The group of people was able to leave on their own accord through the neck-deep water around 4:30 p.m. CT without any physical injuries.

"We're blessed to have such an outcome that we did as a rescue and not a recovery," said Mike Sievert with the Horse Cave Police.

WDRB 41 Louisville News

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