MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of teenagers and two adults are in big trouble after they were found trespassing inside a cave in St. Paul.
The group was found inside a once-secured cave near Watergate Marina on Crosby Farm Road.
St. Paul Public Works employees working near the marina were the first to see something out of place.
“Our officers were notified that some kids had possibly entered the bluff line,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
The backpack-carrying teens disappeared into the bluffs. Concerned for their safety, city workers called police. Officers immediately called the St. Paul Fire Department for help.
“The difficulty was getting up to it. It’s about 150 feet up the cliffs, so we needed to get up to that point,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Gaede. “Once we got there, it was just a 10-foot decline down. We were able to use an actually ladder there to put the ladder in place, climb down the ladder and then off into the cave system it went.”
The cave’s entrance was sealed, but someone dug around the steel grate to gain entrance.
“There were not answering, they were not alluding but they were not wanting to be found in there,” Gaede said.
With 20 personnel from St. Paul’s advanced technical rescue team on scene, crews went inside to look for the trespassers.
“It’s extremely dangerous in there,” Gaede said. “The atmosphere conditions, the oxygen levels and you have no cellphone service as soon as you crack the surface down there, so if one of them would have gotten into danger, there’s no way to call for help.”
They found the eight explorers huddled in a corner and escorted them out of the cave and down the cliff.
Read More: Firefighters Rescue Teens From St. Paul Cave
“Six juveniles ranging in ages from 15 to 17 years old and two adults. They were both 18 years old,” Ernster said.
No one was hurt. One of the adults was treated for injuries not related to their cave exploration.
The teens were 500-to-600 feet inside the cave when they were found.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s office will review this case for possible charges of trespassing on a public utility.
City workers are aggressively working to close off entrances to the caves as they learn of them.