Pokémon Go players rescued after getting lost in Wiltshire caves

Mine rescue experts and firefighters had to come to the aid of a group of teenagers after they became hopelessly lost in Wiltshire while searching for Pokémon Go characters deep underground.

The four teenagers had ventured into the network of caves at Box to play the augmented reality game, which launched in the UK this week and is already sweeping the nation.

Not only did they not find what they were looking for, but they became lost in the network of tunnels and had to wander around until they could get a mobile phone signal and called 999.

Three fire engine crews and two rope rescue units responded to the call on Thursday. They also sought help from a keyholder with access to locked gates in the mine. The teenagers were found and led to safety.

Dorset and Wiltshire fire service said the teenagers had told rescuers that they were playing Pokémon Go but had not had any luck in the mines.

The service tweeted: “Those rescued yesterday were looking for @Pokemon please don’t go into caves unless you have map & experienced guide.”

The area under Box is riddled with tunnels and caves, with names such as the Cathedral Well Shaft, Box Field Quarry and Henry’s Hole.

Quarries are dotted around the area and it is thought some of the tunnels form part of an abandoned emergency relocation site for the British government in the event of nuclear attack.

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire fire and rescue service said on Friday: “The tunnels are open to the public, but some of the areas are locked off because some of them go close to areas used by the Ministry of Defence.

“We are advising people not to go into the caves unless you know what you are doing, you’ve got a map and you’ve got an experienced guide with you.”

The teenagers called for help at about 5pm on Thursday, and were helped by crews from Chippenham, Corsham and Trowbridge.

It is not known if there was a good reason for the children to visit the caves in search of Pokémon Go characters or whether they simply took a chance on the tunnels.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Steven Morris, for The Guardian on Friday 15th July 2016 15.33 Europe/London

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