Teens spend three days lost underground in the Paris catacombs

Paris, Ile-de-France, France, Europe Catacombs tomb tunnels
Photo: Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

On Wednesday, two teens were rescued after spending three days lost in the catacombs of Paris.

Details regarding how the teens, 16 and 17, got lost while in the catacombs, and who raised the alarm over their absence, remain unclear, according to The Local.

The series of underground tunnels served as a burial ground for centuries. The conditions are pitch black and damp, with an average temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

The teens were rushed to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia after being rescued. "It was thanks to the dogs that we found them," a spokesman for the Paris fire service told AFP.

There is only one official entrance to the maze of tunnels, and all other entry points have been illegal since 1955. The operator of the Catacombs museum said no one had ever gotten lost in the tunnels that are open to the public.

According to The Local, however, some thrill-seekers tend to enter the catacombs from secret entrances. Considering how dangerous (and illegal) entering the maze of tunnels is, it might be best to exercise caution and take a guided tour.

While tourists often come to Paris to experience the wealth of history the city has to offer, the dangers of these ancient sites are often overlooked. Risk involved in taking a tour of the catacombs might be low, but it’s always best to remember safety first.

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