New Zealand student missing after school group caught in cave flood

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New Zealand emergency services said they are scouring a popular cave complex for a missing schoolboy Tuesday, after he was reportedly swept away by flood waters.

Rescue workers rushed to Abbey Caves north of Auckland, when a group of high school students on an outdoor pursuits exercise got into “difficulty”, police said.

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Northland District Commander, Superintendent Tony Hill, said some of the group had “made it out” safely, but one student remained unaccounted for.

“Our thoughts are with the ‘whanau’ (family) of the missing child, as well as all those involved in the group outing and the school,” Hill said.

Search and rescue crews from the police and the fire service have been deployed.

The group was reported to have been from Whangarei Boys High School, which told angry and distraught parents the school would close early on Tuesday.

The area has been pummeled by days of heavy rains and is under a severe thunderstorm warning, according to the local civil defense authority.

Abbey Caves are roughly five kilometers (three miles) from the city of Whangarei and feature three caves that “are prone to flash flooding”, according to the council website.

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