20 hikers rescued from ‘Devil’s Bathtub’ in southwestern Virginia

Twenty hikers were rescued Monday after flash flooding near a swimming hole known as the Devil’s Bathtub in southwestern Virginia, authorities said.

The U.S. Forestry Service closed the Devil's Bathtub Trail for the rest of Monday after the hikers were accounted for shortly after 10 a.m., WJHL reported.

According to Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter, the hikers were rescued on trails around the Devil's Bathtub after they were trapped by rising waters, ending an ordeal that began Sunday at 7:15 p.m, WCYB reported.

"The real challenge is the stream crossings and when you have the water come up very quickly, that's going to trap people in places where they can't get out and they can't get out because the terrain is so steep and in some places, sheer vertical cliffs and then other places, they may end up on an island trapped by water on all sides of them," Billy Chrimes, Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, told WJHL.

Carter told reporters that one rescued hiker might have a twisted knee, while others have mild cases of hypothermia.

Devil's Bathtub is a naturally occurring swimming hole located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The trail leading to it is called Devil's Fork and is a 7.2-mile round trip, CNN reported.

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