SAN ANTONIO - A Lee High School senior did everything right when she got stuck inside a North Side cave Thursday, according to a North East Independent School District spokeswoman.
NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said the 18-year-old was part of an earth, space and science class on a field trip to the cave at the Robber Baron Preserve.
"They were going through different crawl spaces, seeing the smaller parts, the larger parts," Chancellor said. "She just happened to misjudge how big this particular crawl space was and got stuck."
Chancellor said the teen became wedged in the area, which was about 350 feet into the cave and about 50 feet below ground.
San Antonio firefighters spent hours trying to chisel away at the rock to free her.
When crews finally emerged from the cage with her late Thursday night -- more than nine hours after she went in -- they were met with applause and cheering.
During a news conference, Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters that the first thing the teen told her mother was that she "didn't want to die in here."
Hood said his firefighters worked hard to make sure that didn't happen.
He said fortunately, crews were familiar with the layout of the cave, located not far from Nacogdoches Road and Broadway. He said the firefighters have used it as a training site.
"We do a ton of training, and so to be able to have the awareness of what the conditions are in that cave, to know the equipment that we need, it was beneficial in the end and helped us be successful," Hood said.
After the rescue, the student was checked out at a hospital.
Chancellor said she didn't appear to have any serious injuries.
"She was a little bit shaken up and she was frightened," she said. "It was a long ordeal, but she's doing good today."
The field trip is something NEISD has done "for many, many years," Chancellor said. She called what happened Thursday a rare occurrence.
Whether the school district will continue the annual cave field trips in the future is something NEISD will be addressing at a later time, Chancellor said.
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