A rockslide at the Mountains of Sodom near the Dead Sea sealed off a popular cave frequented by hikers on Saturday afternoon, and an Israeli family narrowly missed being trapped inside.
Emergency rescue teams from Beersheba and Dimona who rushed to the Cave of Sodom determined that no hikers were trapped inside, a fire department spokesperson said.
A family that had been inside the cave at the time of the avalanche rushed out when they heard the rumbling above them, and were able to escape without harm, Ynet reported.
Pictures from the scene showed the entrance to the cave almost entirely blocked with large boulders.
Negev Fire Chief Gershon Kalimi told Ynet that firefighters had determined the inner part of the cave had collapsed, but did not detail the full extent of the damage.
He said the IDF and police sealed off the area to visitors, and a local expert on caves in the area was assisting officials in mapping out the inside of the cave.
Kalimi also warned there was “real possibility” of another rockslide in the area.
Located along the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea, the Mountains of Sodom are characterized by large salt caves and pillars, and are a popular hiking and tourist destination in the Judean Desert.
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