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Rescuers free tourists and guides trapped in Slovenian cave

By Eve Brennan, CNN

(CNN) — Rescuers successfully freed five people from a cave in Slovenia on Monday, two days after the group went missing.

Two guides and three tourists entered the cave, named Križna Jama (or “Cross Cave”), in southern Slovenia on Saturday morning, after a period of heavy rain, and failed to return later that day.

A third guide went to search for them but could not find the missing group, and the Slovenian Cave Rescue Service (CRS) was activated to recover them.

The European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA) said in a post on Facebook on Monday that they had successfully been evacuated, praising those involved in an “excellent operation.”

The water cave is one of Slovenia’s most well-known tourist destinations, with visitors able to take a boat ride to explore inside.

The ECRA sent divers into the cave on Sunday and successfully made contact with the group, but were unable to evacuate them because high water levels had blocked the two safe passages, the service said in a statement on Monday.

The group were about 1.3 miles from the cave entrance, and were in good physical and mental condition, the ECRA said.

“The morning brings positive information; the water level in Križna Jama has decreased overnight,” the agency said on Monday morning, before the operation retrieved the group.

The ECRA added that decreased water levels meant rescuers could navigate a boat around the cave area, “which is very promising for the rescue of trapped individuals.”

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