Rescuers get close to cavers trapped in Poland's Tatra mountains

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Mountain rescue team members board a helicopter in Zakopane, Poland. (Photo: Agencies)

WARSAW, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A rescue team looking for two cavers trapped in a cave in Poland's Tatra mountains announced on Tuesday that they found the equipment abandoned by the missing persons, indicating the search might be approaching an end.

"The cavers abandoned part of their equipment probably because they wanted to enter a crevice, and with equipment it would not be possible. The passages are so narrow that only a slim person can fit," said a spokesman for the Tatra rescue services.

The spokesman noted that the cavers might have inadvertently blocked a water outflow while exploring crevices, which resulted in water rapidly collecting and blocking their return.

The rescue team is now using explosives to widen the narrow passages in order to advance and find the lost cavers. They said a recent change in air circulation allows them to organise explosions more often, which means they could advance faster.

Rescuers have been battling since the weekend to save two cavers trapped inside a cavern in Poland's Tatra mountains, after their exit was blocked when a tunnel got flooded with water. There are concerns about how long the missing persons can last in such tough conditions.

The two got trapped inside the Wielka Sniezna cave, the longest and deepest in Poland, on Saturday. Slovak rescuers are assisting Polish colleagues in the mission. The Tatra mountains are located in southern Poland, forming a natural border between Poland and Slovakia.