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Teen Spent 10 Hours Trapped in Texas Cave

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas -

San Antonio fire crews have rescued an 18-year-old Lee High School student who got stuck in a cave during a field trip, reports the CBS affiliate there, KENS-TV.

It happened just before midnight Thursday after she was trapped more than 10 hours.

"She told her mom, 'I didn't want to die in there,'" San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

"We had a plan, and fortunately Plan A worked out for us. It was very difficult to chip away at that rock," he said.

Firefighters were called to the Robber Baron Cave at around 2:40 p.m. Thursday. The cave is located on the city's north side.

"She is conscious. She is alert. She is a trooper," Hood said around 10 p.m. as rescue efforts continued. "She is in very good spirits considering what she has been through."

The teen was with a group of students on a field trip when she somehow got stuck in a narrow area called the "hole in the floor." The spot is about 350 feet inside the cave.

The experienced cavers who were with the students at the time worked for about an hour to try to free her, then contacted emergency personnel.

Those crews were able to reach the girl, and kept her warm and hydrated throughout the ordeal. "We have paramedics and firefighters with her," Hood said. "She is never by herself."

She didn't appear to be hurt, but was brought to a hospital as a precaution.

Hood said there were about 70 rescuers on scene and they worked in 20-minute shifts in the tight space in the cave.

The temperature there is actually warmer than outside, about 75 degrees and musty, Hood said.

Earlier, he'd said, "We have to be prepared for a long operation."

Rescuers gradually chipped away at the rock around her and took steps to make sure she didn't slip further into the rock formation, which could have impeded her breathing.

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