Teens Rescued After Getting Lost for 3 Days in Paris Catacombs

Teens Rescued After Getting Lost for 3 Days in Paris Catacombs

Among the rescuers were climbers and sniffer dogs who found the boys suffering from slight hypothermia.

Paris police said they alerted firefighters early Wednesday that the boys, aged 16 and 17, were missing.

The catacombs were created at the end of the 18th century, when outbreaks of plague across Paris were linked to overstuffed cemeteries; the bones of an estimated 6m Parisians were relocated to the network, stacked in indiscriminate piles and arranged in artistic designs.

A spokesperson for the Paris fire department credited the dogs with the rescue, as if you needed more reasons to love dogs.

Only a small part of the network of burial chambers is open to the public but people have been known to sneak illegally into the underground tunnels via secret entrances.

There is only one official entrance to the maze of tunnels, and all other entry points have been illegal since 1955. Operators at the museum made it clear that nobody had ever gotten lost in the tunnels that are open to the public.

The bones of an estimated six million people are in the catacombs. These tunnels were formed after limestone was mined from them to build the city, according to Catacombs of Paris’ website. In a detailed history of the labyrinth, Les Catacombes de Paris explains that the transference of remains was due to graveyards being closed because of the risk they posed to public health.

The boys went to the catacombs on Saturday night but nobody started searching for them for days.