By BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
CLEVELAND—All five men trapped in a cave in Russell County were rescued Sunday afternoon.
The final man was brought out of the cave shortly after 6 p.m., according to officials with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
A total of six men entered Cyclops Cave on Friday evening. One man crawled out of the cave about 2 a.m., Sunday and called emergency officials, telling them the others were trapped inside, suffering exhaustion and hypothermia.
Rescue efforts began Sunday morning, including local and state agencies and a cave rescue team from Virginia Tech.
The first man was extracted shortly after 3 p.m. A second man was removed a short time later and taken to a local hospital via Virginia State Police helicopter, a state official said. Two came out under their own power.
Jeff Stern, the director of VDEM, issued a statement praising the rescue effort.
“Remaining 3rd, 4th, and 5th men all rescued,” Stern said via Twitter. “All have been rescued successfully at this time. Rescue personnel retrieving equipment and beginning demobilization efforts. Very proud of all rescue personnel from multiple local and state groups and agencies.”
Gov. Ralph Northam expressed his congratulations.
“Sending my deepest gratitude to the first responders, VDEM and search and rescue personnel who helped get them to safety,” the governor tweeted Sunday evening.
The cave is located on private property a few miles north of Cleveland in Russell County.