7 people rescued after 39 hours trapped in Indiana cave

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CORYDON, Ind. (AP) — Seven people who became trapped by high waters while exploring a southern Indiana cave were rescued after 39 hours underground, officials said Monday.

The last of the cavers were brought above ground about 3 a.m. Monday after entering Binkley's Cave near Corydon about noon Saturday, Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Hash said. Emergency workers were called when the cavers didn't emerge at 3 a.m. Sunday as planned, he said.

First responders had to wait about eight hours for the high waters inside the cave to subside at a rate of 3 inches an hour so they could reach the group, Hash said. The water temperature was 40 degrees or colder, Hash said, and rescuers had to brave water chest or neck-deep. The group was several hours from the cave entrance.

As many as 50 emergency workers and local cave experts responded to the scene, Hash said, including the Red Cross. Another benefit was that some of the cavers had as much as 20 to 40 years of experience.

"This group was very well prepared," Hash said. "They had plenty of food, plenty of water."

Hash described the group as hobbyists doing a survey of the cave, which is part of a miles-long cave system. Officials say the cavers were treated for mild hypothermia and exposure.

Corydon is 25 miles west of Louisville, Kentucky.

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