Two teenagers were rescued from the catacombs in Paris on Wednesday (14 June) after being trapped underground for almost three days.

The boys, aged 16 and 17, entered the historic burial site on Monday (12 June) and became lost after wandering deep into the 250km (155 miles) network of underground tunnels, away from the small section of the maze that is open to the public.

Entering the other galleries has been illegal since 1955, but schoolchildren and teenagers have been known to access the tunnels through secret entrances.

The teenagers were found three days later after search teams and rescue dogs were sent into the catacombs, which hold the remains of more than six million people.

After four hours rescue workers found the pair in one of the damp passageways, which were built in the late 18th Century following the collapse of several cemeteries in the French capital.

The ambient temperature in the narrow tunnels is around 15C and the boys were suffering from hypothermia when rescue workers came across them.

"It was thanks to the dogs that we found them," a spokesman for the Paris fire service told AFP.

The burial site is a popular attraction in Paris that sometimes sees hour-long entry queues. The Catacomb museum said that no one had ever got lost in the 2km tunnel network open to the public, adding that the teenagers must have taken an unauthorised route and gained access to the site via a secret entrance.

Paris catacombs
The teenagers were rescued from the Paris catacombs after three days GettyImages/PatrickKovarik