Soccer team trapped in Thailand raises concerns about safety in Kentuckiana caves

CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB)-- Stephanie O'Leary and her kids were looking for some summer relief.

"We just thought we'd take a break from the heat and come inside," she said.

They decided on Southern Indiana Caverns, where it's always a cool 55 degrees underground. While they got their pictures taken and went on a tour, O'Leary had something else in the back of her mind: that soccer team from Thailand holding onto hope they'll make it out of a flooded cave alive.

"It's a little scary to think about it," she said. "To think about your kids stuck down there, and you don't know how you're going to get them out."

Gary Robinson of Indiana Caverns said two of his employees were among the seven cavers trapped in the Binkley Cave System after heavy rain caused cave waters to rise.

"They were marooned for 39 hours, but they held up in a dry passage and shared their food, turned their lights off and all huddled together," Roberson said.

The caving veteran said most people visiting Indiana Caverns are never in any danger. Most tours there go through "a show cave," which pose no real risk.

The Deep Darkness tour at the caverns can be more of a threat, because it takes you about a mile from the entrance. Roberson said his team watches it closely.

"We have a spring out here that we can monitor, and we know what the conditions will be like," he said.

If there's any question, they cancel. If there's an unexpected big rain while visitors are down there, he said it's easy for a group to turn around and hustle back to the entrance.

It all puts O'Leary at ease. Still, her heart breaks for kids around the world in a far different situation.

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