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Elderly man falls into lava tube while trimming trees, dies

Web Report
Filed on November 11, 2019

(AFP file)

The tubes are natural underground channels that allow lava to pass beneath the surface.

An elderly Hawaii man, who had not been seen in several days, was found dead in a 22 feet-deep lava tube.

Police said the man was trimming trees when he accidentally fell through a soft area of ground into a lava tube in his yard and died.

Lava tubes are natural underground channels that allow lava to pass beneath the surface of a lava flow - sometimes miles from the eruption site. Massive caves are created under the earth after the lava drains away out of the lava tubes.

Police Major Robert Wagner told news outlet Big Island Now that the Hawai'i Fire Department's rescue team rappelled deep into the tube to retrieve the man's body.

Autopsy revealed that the victim "died as a result of injuries consistent with falling", police said. Although police do not suspect any foul play in the elderly man's death, his identity is being withheld as the investigation into the case is ongoing, reported Time.


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