Text Message Helps Save Man from Cave near Mississippi River in St. Paul

Updated: 08/17/2014 7:14 PM
Created: 08/17/2014 7:14 AM
By: Megan Stewart

A young man was rescued after being trapped in a 300-foot cave in St. Paul early Sunday morning.

The rescue happened around 6 a.m. along the bluffs of the Mississippi River near Water Street.

Hours earlier, the man had fallen about 20 feet into a hole, which turned into a 300-foot shallow cave he couldn't get out of. He texted his friend saying he was trapped, but then his phone went dead.

St. Paul firefighters and their advanced tactical rescue team started searching the area, looking for the cave entrance.

They located the man around 5 a.m. in the cave he had fallen into, officials said. It had high levels of carbon monoxide and smoke inside.

St. Paul's rescue team with the help of Minneapolis' rescue team were lowered into the cave and pulled him out.

The man was able to walk around and suffered only minor injuries, but was still taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The man said he was alone, but firefighters continued to search for anyone who could be trapped.

In 2004, three teens died from carbon monoxide poisoning while exploring the Wabasha Street complex of caves. A fourth teen was rescued.

Photo: KSTP/Kate Renner
Photo: KSTP/File

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