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11 rescued after being trapped in cave with massive bat colony

Bats fly in a cave by the river Danube near Bazias, some 300 miles west of Bucharest, Romania, in an Oct. 9, 2010 file photo.

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Last Updated Aug 23, 2016 4:43 PM EDT

BUCHAREST, Romania - Authorities say 11 people have been rescued after being trapped by a flash flood in a huge bat cave in western Romania.

Alina Marescu, spokeswoman for the local emergency services, told The Associated Press that the group had taken shelter Monday afternoon from torrential rain, only to be trapped by the flood. They were rescued after a seven-hour operation.

She said Tuesday that the group included two experienced speleologists - people who study caves. The others were aged 15-17, of which four were French. Marescu said they were checked by medics and nobody needed medical care.

The Huda lui Papara cave is home to the largest bat colony in Europe, located in the Apuseni Mountains in northwestern Transylvania.