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Boy crushed to death as cave roof collapses

A teenager has died after being crushed inside a cave that collapsed. Aiden Brookes was killed by a piece of falling rock at the Hermitage Caves, near Bridgnorth, in Shropshire.

Aiden, who is believed to be 16, was one of two people hit by falling rocks when the cave roof fell in at about 1.50am yesterday. His friend, an 18-year-old woman, was treated for back, neck and rib injuries. Her condition was described as serious, but not life-threatening. West Mercia Police said it was believed that the group had lit a fire while camping in the sandstone cave.

A force spokesman said: "At this stage we are trying to establish exactly what happened but it seems that a quantity of rocks and rubble fell on those inside when part of the cave collapsed. It appears to be a tragic accident."

Aiden, who went to Oldbury Wells School in Bridgnorth, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Princess Royal hospital in Telford. Headteacher Sarah Godden said: "The whole school is shocked and saddened by this tragic accident."