More than two dozen rescue workers are battling to save two cavers trapped in a cavern in the Tatra mountains in Poland after a narrow tunnel flooded with water.
A representative of the rescue service said on Sunday it had not yet been possible to establish contact with the two cavers and that concern was growing because of their long exposure to extreme conditions.
Rescuers were preparing to use explosives to open a route to reach the two people but they said the process would not be quick.
Jan Krzysztof, the head of the Tatra volunteer search and rescue group, told the Polish broadcaster TVN: “The only way to get to them is through a series of very complicated pyrotechnic actions. We have the necessary materials but this will take a long time. We have to be ready for work that could last days if not weeks.”
The two cavers became trapped in the Wielka Śnieżna cave, the longest and deepest in the Tatra mountains, on Saturday and rescue services were notified by colleagues who had accompanied them on the excursion, TVN reported.
The first rescue group was sent in on Saturday evening and since then two more groups, including workers from the fire department in Krakow, had been dispatched, TVN said.
Krzysztof said additional support could come from Slovakian rescuers.
Rescue conditions were particularly difficult because of flooding that could also endanger the rescuers, TVN reported.