Man, 75, dies after falling out of viewing area and into Hawaii’s active Kilauea Volcano: Rescuers found his body 100 feet below crater rim
- The National Park Service said family members reported the Hilo man missing early Monday
- Rangers and Hawaii County firefighters searched for him in the dark and then found his body 100 feet below the crater rim of a viewing area of Kilauea volcano
- Kilauea is the most active of the five volcanos that form Hawaii’s Big Island. The area is open to visitors, but officials encourage hikers to stay on marked trails
- In 2019, a 32-year-old man was rescued after plummeting 70 feet into Kilauea
- In 2017, a 38-year-old man died at Kilauea in an apparent suicide
The lifeless body of a 75-year-old Hawaii man was found after he apparently fell 100 feet into the crater of the most active volcano on the Big Island, authorities said.
The unidentified Hilo resident disappeared at the popular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park late Sunday night and his family reported him missing on Monday, the National Park Service said.
Rangers and Hawaii County firefighters searched in the dark and found his body 100 feet below the crater rim of a viewing area of Kilauea volcano, the most active of the five volcanos that form Hawaii’s Big Island.
Tourists and locals visit the park at night to get a glimpse of a glowing lava lake from an eruption of the volcano.
‘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 Uēkahuna viewing area at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. Park rangers, assisted by helicopter, recovered the body around 8 am,’ the National Park Service said in a statement.
Rangers and Hawaii County firefighters searched in the dark and found body of 75-year-old man 100 feet below the crater rim of a viewing area of Kilauea volcano
A trail provides gawkers with view of lava-filled crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
A helicopter flies above destruction in the aftermath of eruptions from the the Kilauea volcano in 2018
The NPS is now conducting an investigation into the incident. Officials said the man would be identified after the family is notified.
The area is open to visitors, but officials encourage hikers to stay on marked trails.
‘Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges,’ Chief Ranger John Broward said in 2017. ‘Crossing safety barriers and entering closed areas can result in serious injuries and death.’
Lava lake forms in crater after Kīlauea began erupting again on September 29, 2021, according to the United States Geological Survey service
Gas and steam erupt from the Halemaumau Crater of the Kilauea Volcano on December 21, 2020 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is the most active of the five volcanos that form Hawaii’s Big Island
Kīlauea began erupting again on September 29, 2021, according to the United States Geological Survey service. Lava continues to erupt from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaumau crater.
The volcano is currently ‘exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption,’ the USGS said.
The tragic incident is not the first time someone has fallen into the crater. In 2019, a 32-year-old man plummeted 70 feet into Kilauea after stepping over the railing.
Rangers and Fire department were able to rescue him after three hours, and he was taken to a hospital to treat his severe injuries, Newsweek reported.
In 2017, a 38-year-old man died at Kilauea volcano in an apparent suicide.
His body was found on the caldera floor about 250 feet below Crater Rim Trail.