- A soldier visiting an active volcano in Hawaii climbed over a railing, lost his footing, and fell in, NBC News reported.
- The man lost his footing and plummeted from a 300-foot cliff at Kīlauea caldera, the National Parks Service said in a statement.
- He sustained injuries but survived the fall.
- The 32-year-old man was extracted from a narrow ledge about 70 feet below the cliff’s edge and airlifted to the hospital.
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A soldier visiting Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano fell into the active crater after he climbed over a railing to get a closer look, NBC News reported.
After plummeting 70 feet, the 32-year-old man, who is based at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island, survived, according to the outlet.
The National Parks Service said in a statement that around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities received a call that a man had climbed over a permanent metal railing, lost his footing, and fell from a 300-foot cliff into the active volcano.
Around 9 p.m., rescuers located him alive but seriously injured on a narrow ledge about 70 feet below the cliff’s edge. Using ropes, rescuers were able to execute a “high angle extraction” and airlift the man to Hilo Medical Center.
Speaking to Hawaii News Now, Matthias Kusch, Hawaii County Fire Department battalion chief, said that the soldier, who has not been identified, is “doing remarkably well for his fall.” However, he added that “only time will tell what injuries he has.”
“Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges,” said Chief Ranger John Broward said in a statement. “Crossing safety barriers and entering closed areas can result in serious injuries and death.”
According to the US Geological Survey, Kilauea volcano is not currently erupting, but it is considered active. The volcano erupted for four months last year, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
According to the National Parks Service, the last fatal fall in the park happened in October 2017.
This isn’t the first accident leading to a serious injury or death to happen at a national park this year. Last month alone, four people died in the Grand Canyon – but that’s not stopping people from going to its edge.
- Read more:
- A woman fell 200 feet to her death at the Grand Canyon, the 4th fatality at the national park in less than a month
- A woman died after falling into an industrial meat grinder at a factory in Pennsylvania
- A travel-blogger couple fell to their deaths trying to take a picture from a cliff in Yosemite National Park