Slovenia rescue
Rescuers walk as they take part in a rescue operation to reach five people trapped in the cave after heavy rainfall, in Bloska Polica, Slovenia, January 6, 2024. Image Credit: Reuters

Ljubljana: Five people have been trapped in a cave in central Slovenia since Saturday after heavy rains caused flooding, rescue workers told a news conference on Sunday.

A family of three adults with two guides had on Saturday morning begun a tourist visit to the Krizna Jama (Cross Cave), some 50 kilometres south of the capital Ljubljana.

The group became trapped on a dry platform after heavy rainfall provoked a steep rise in the water levels within the cave, known for its underground lakes.

A rescue operation was launched after they failed to emerge from cave as scheduled.

Rescue operation
Rescue operation in progress. Image Credit: Reuters

Cave divers located them late on Saturday some two kilometres from the entrance to the eight-kilometre-long cave.

"All five are in stable condition," civil protection authorities said in a statement adding that rescue teams had delivered them overnight a tent, warm clothes, food and medicines.

"If the water level drops, the rescue could be carried out swiftly," the head of the cave rescue team Walter Zakrajsek told journalists adding that, if the cave tunnels remain flooded, teams of cave divers will be making the three-hour-long trip to provide them with all they need every 12 hours.

Slovenia is known for its over 14,000 caves, some of them are visited by large groups of tourists travelling on underground trains, while others, like the Krizna cave, can be visited only by small groups using small boats.