5 people trapped 200 feet underground in Grand Canyon caverns


(NEXSTAR/KLAS) – A tour group was extracted from the caverns of the Grand Canyon in Peach Springs, Ariz., after becoming trapped about 200 feet underground on Sunday, county sheriff’s office officials said. Coconino.

The tour group was originally stranded after the elevator that was supposed to take them to the surface stopped working, officials said. Attempts to repair the elevator failed and the band members were allowed to spend the night in a hotel suite ‘deep in the cave’ after determining they could not ascend 21 floors in the elevator. ’emergency stairs.

Authorities built a “technical rope rescue system” to hoist stranded tourists into the elevator shaft one by one, according to a press release released on Tuesday afternoon. (Coconino Sheriff’s Office)

“They had physical limitations. The stairs aren’t like hotel stairs, they’re like an emergency exit,” said Jon Paxton, public information officer at the Coconino Sheriff’s Office.

The following day, members of the Flagstaff Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department constructed a “technical rope rescue system” to hoist stranded tourists into the elevator shaft one by one, according to a news release on Tuesday. afternoon.

Each lift took about 15 minutes, the sheriff’s office said. All members were above ground at 6 p.m. Monday.

“Once on the surface, the group members were assessed by personnel from the Flagstaff Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department,” according to the news release. “None of the participants suffered from any medical conditions requiring on-site treatment.”

Mechanics were brought to the site of the faulty elevator on Tuesday. A representative from Grand Canyon Caverns was not immediately available to provide further details.

The Grand Canyon Caverns, located about 200 feet underground near Peach Springs, are said to be the largest dry caverns in the country, according to the Caverns Tourism site. Visitors can schedule caving tours and expeditions, or even reserve the Underground Cavern Suite – which offers two beds, DVDs, books, a kitchenette and “VR-style bathroom” – for $1,000 per night, according to the website.


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