Two teenage boys were safe and sound Wednesday after spending three cold, dark, and no doubt harrowing days lost in the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. According to the BBC, the two boys, ages 16 and 17, were rescued early Wednesday following a four-hour effort by search teams with rescue dogs. They were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for hypothermia, though authorities say they were otherwise unharmed. The temperature in the pitch-black passageways is about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, notes AFP.
The catacombs, which house the bones of approximately 6 million dead, form a 150-mile maze beneath the city. Only a small portion of the catacombs are open to the public, but partygoers and enthusiasts known as “cataphiles” have been known to access the other tunnels through secret entrances. Authorities have not reported who sounded the alarm about the missing boys or how they got into the catacombs, but the operator of the official museum says he knows of nobody ever getting lost in the public portion of the tunnels.
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