FIVE hounds have been rescued from a mineshaft after being trapped 20ft down for four days.
The dogs, from a local hunt, went missing in Cornwall on Saturday but several searches failed to locate them.
Volunteers from Cornwall Search and Rescue found the dogs at St Allen near Truro on Tuesday evening, but could not lift them up as they were too heavy.
A fire crew and a specialist line team were called and by 12.30pm yesterday five of the dogs were safe, although one was injured. A sixth hound had died.
Katie Hancock, whose husband Paul is the master of the Four Burrows hunt, said at first it was thought the dogs might be trapped in a shed.
Then there was a theory that an old mineshaft might have opened up. She said: ‘It was with huge relief that the first shaft that [the volunteers] looked at, they discovered the hounds.’