Man, 75, dies after falling 100 feet from viewing platform into Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

Locals and tourists have flocked to the area to catch a glimpse of lava lakes since September eruption

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 04 January 2022 22:39

A 75-year-old man fell from 100 feet (30m) to his death from a viewing platform above Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano late on Sunday night.

County firefighters and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers searched in the dark for the man after family members reported him missing early Monday.

They eventually found his body below the crater rim of a viewing area of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island and a helicopter was called to help retrieve his body at about 8am.

The man, from Hilo, has yet to be identified.

An investigation by the National Park Service is underway into the death.

In a statement, the National Park Service said: “After searching for the man in the darkness, National Park Service rangers and Hawaiʻi County firefighters located the man’s body about 100 feet below the crater rim, west of the Uekahuna viewing area at the summit of Kilauea volcano.

“Park rangers, assisted by helicopter, recovered the body around 8am.”

Since the volcano erupted in September, tourists and local residents have been visiting the park at night to catch a glimpse of a glowing lava lake.

The eruption had caused “significant hazards” including high volcanic gas levels which create airborne health risks, volcanic glass fragments and rockfalls.

On Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey said the recent eruption at the summit of Kilauea had paused.

“All recent lava activity has been confined to the crater, and there are no indications of activity migrating elsewhere on Kīlauea.”

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