5 men rescued from cave in southwest Virginia


UPDATE: All five of the trapped men have been rescued, according to officials.

One of the men was taken to the hospital by Virginia State Police helicopter, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

CLEVELAND, Va (WJHL) – Emergency crews in Virginia are attempting to rescue five men trapped in a cave in Southwest Virginia. 

Russell County EMA Director Jess Powers says the men are between the ages of 34 to 59 years old and are suffering from hypothermia and fatigue. 

Powers says six men entered Cyclops Cave on Saturday with the intention to camp. One man was able to escape and call 911. 

Heavy rain has reportedly saturated the cave, making it hard for the men to exit on their own. 

Crews also tell us there are no injuries reported at this time and the first rescue isn’t expected to happen until noon. 

The American Red Cross from Bristol, Cleveland Life Saving Crew, Lebanon Fire Department and Cleveland Fire Department are on scene.

At this time, we’ve learned two of the men are mildly hypothermic. 

News Channel 11 has confirmed this is a private property. We spoke to owner Frankie Smith who said this is the first time someone has gotten stuck in the cave and that the men did not have permission to enter. Smith said the cave is about two miles long.

“Right now they are trying to make contact with them again. They had made contact with them about two hours ago,” Smith said. “They said they’ve made eye contact with two of them. The position they’re in, I can’t understand, I don’t know if they’re gonna have to have more people help them get over the ledges.”

A news conference will be held at 5:30pm to provide an update on the rescue.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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