Teenage girl stuck for an hour in XC caves

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FIREFIGHTERS were called to the XC sports centre after a teenage girl got stuck in the caving system.

The 16-year-old spent an hour trapped in the 150 metre system at Jarman Park just after 9pm on Tuesday night when she was unable to squeeze through a section.

Fire crews went into the caves and helped staff ‘manoeuvre’ the upset teenager, part of a group of girl guides, out of the system using an escape hatch.

Watch Commander Dick Lawrence said: “The fire service and staff assisted the young lady to the nearest exit.”

While people have being trapped in the caves before, often for psychological reasons, it was the first time the fire brigade has been called.

Elise Hyslop, marketing and communications director at Sportspace, which runs the XC, said the girl failed to disclose a ‘pre-existing knee injury’ that prevented her from making a turn.

She said: “She was in a part of the caving system which was not a particularly difficult part but because she had previously hurt her knee she got into a position where she couldn’t shift herself round and get out.

“The fire brigade was called as a precaution but they weren’t needed.

“She went through periods of being upset. She was with instructors. The main job of the instructors in that situation is to keep the person calm.

“In the end they were able to manoeuvre her back out and she came out.

“In an absolute worst-case scenario if anyone was absolutely stuck the system can be unbolted.”