Cave escape: Rushing water, sucking mud and pitch black

HORSE CAVE, Ky. (AP) – Gary Russell was leading a group of geology students on a five-hour tour of a Kentucky cave when he turned a corner and saw water rushing by where water wasn’t supposed to be.

He had no way to communicate with the outside world, but he knew water wasn’t supposed to be a mile deep in the cave.

Russell and his group were among 19 people who escaped the flooded Hidden River Cave on Thursday afternoon. They navigated neck-deep water, rushing currents and mud so thick it sucked off the police chief’s boot. It was pitch black.

Kentucky State Police Trooper B.J. Eaton says the group that spent more than six hours inside the cave included Clemson University students, four tour guides and two police officers who got trapped when they tried to rescue the group.