A man fell into the most dangerous volcano in the United States and survived, reports Newsweek.
The man, reportedly in his 30s, was seen falling into the Kilauea volcano caldera, Hawaii, around 6 p.m. local time. The incident was quickly reported to local authorities — rangers, and the Fire Department went to the scene, locating the man four hours later. After several hours, he was rescued and airlifted to hospital for “urgent medical care.”
According to the Hawaii County Fire Department, the men climbed over a safety barrier to get a closer look at one of the volcano’s craters, and then fell between 60 to 70 feet from it. Luckily, he got trapped on a “narrow ledge,” which saved his life.
Chief Ranger John Broward discussed the accident with the press, warning visitors to refrain from climbing over metal railings and other safety barriers.
“Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges Crossing safety barriers and entering closed areas can result in serious injuries and death,” he said.
Considered to be the most dangerous volcano in the United States, the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island remains one of the most active volcanoes in the world. An eruption that took place in 2018 was the biggest in the last 200 years, studies have found, and scientists have repeatedly argued that the volcano needs to be studied and monitored because of the danger it poses.
Although not currently erupting, and with a “green” alert level, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the Kilauea volcano will inevitably erupt again.
“Although clear signs are expected prior to a return to eruption, the time frame of warning may be short. Island of Hawaii residents should be familiar with the long-term hazard map for Kilauea volcano and how to stay informed about Kilauea activity,” the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says.
According to ABC News, the man who fell into the Kilauea volcano is an active soldier in the United States Army — his unit was on the island for field training. Rescue crews reportedly extracted him using ropes and a helicopter from the Department of Defense. He was then airlifted to a hospital.
The man climbed over a metal guard rail to get a better vantage point. Then the ground beneath him collapsed. https://t.co/bK1HIwqsrn— NPR (@NPR) May 3, 2019
The soldier, whose name has not been released to the media, is reportedly seriously injured.
The publication notes that the soldier is not the first person to sustain severe injuries after a fall in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The last fatal fall occurred in 2017, according to officials.