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Austrian authorities said a rescue team was trying to reach three Polish researchers who became trapped when water from melting ice or snow entered the cave where they were working.

BERLIN — Austrian rescue workers attempted Friday to reach three Polish researchers who became trapped when water from melting ice or snow entered the cave where they were working, authorities said.

Salzburg officials said a rescue operation was launched on Thursday evening at the Lamprechtsofen cave near the village of St. Martin bei Lofer.

Unusually warm temperatures have forced meltwater into the cave, making it dangerous for researchers to leave, authorities said.

Authorities said they had not yet been able to get in touch with the researchers, but described the trio as “complete professionals, at least one of whom is familiar with the cave”.

“We are optimistic because they are well equipped,” said Monika Feichtner, head of Salzburg’s underground rescue service. The cave contains rescue alcoves with blankets and emergency equipment, she said.

She said officials hoped the water would recede in cold weather.

ABC News

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