British cavers rescued

Six Britons have been rescued after spending more than a week trapped in a cave system in Mexico.

The team, including members of the British Combined Services, were unharmed after their uncomfortable nine-night stay in Cuetzalan.

They became trapped in the cave after the entrance flooded and they were unable to fit through a narrow crevice wearing normal breathing equipment.

Yesterday the incident became the subject of a diplomatic row between the Mexican and British governments.

Mexican president Vicente Fox demanded an explanation after reports that the team had refused help from local emergency services.

He wanted to know why the men had been in the country on tourist visas if they were on a military exercise. The British Foreign Office denied that they had done anything wrong, maintaining that the team was simply on a caving expedition.

Mexican immigration officials will question the men about the nature of their activities after they have had medical checks.