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Cave in Vietnam may be world's largest

April 24, 2009 at 1:13 PM

DONG HOI, Vietnam, April 24 (UPI) -- A cave discovered in Vietnam's Quang Binh province may be the largest in the world, a team of British explorers says.

British Cave Research Association explorer Howard Limbert, whose team confirmed the cave's existence, said the possible record-setting cavern is 656 feet high, 492 feet wide and at least 4 miles long, the Vietnam News Service said Friday. The explorer said strong currents and flooding prevented his team from thoroughly exploring the cave.

Previously, the largest known cavern was Deer Cave in Malaysia. The Malaysian cave is 328 feet high, 295 feet wide and 1 mile long, the Saigon Giai Phong newspaper said.

Limbert's team explored the cave in Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in mid-April before confirming its existence and size to the provincial People's Committee on Wednesday.

The Vietnam News Service said Limbert's team was the first group to explore parts of the cave, but an unidentified local resident is credited with its initial discovery 18 years ago.

Limbert said his team would return to Vietnam with more advanced equipment in 2011 to explore further.

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