A level at Rhosydd Quarry. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

A level at Rhosydd Quarry. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

A major rescue operation was mounted for a group of 17 photographers who went missing undergound in north Wales.

Concerned relatives rang police after the snappers failed to return home to Wallasey on the Wirral after an adventurous trip underground near Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team was called out shortly after midnight today, and was joined by the North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation in the search for the group, from a photography forum in the Liverpool and Wallasey area.

The photographers’ families raised the alarm when they were eight hours overdue.

Police officers from North Wales also joined the operation at Rhosydd Quarry, and the group’s vehicles were found at Tanygrisiau.

Bad weather prevented a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey joining the search.

An Aberglaslyn MRT spokesperson said: “’Luckily, the group was located safe and well upon arriving back at their vehicles, with no injuries to any of the group at having been underground over 14 hours.

“The group had severely misjudged the length of the route, which coupled with the large numbers and it being the first trip underground for a large percentage of the group, made progress difficult for them.”

The rescue operation ended at 3.30am.

The former slate mine closed in 1948 after more than 100 years of production.

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