Man falls into dangerous Hawaii volcano – and lives

A man miraculously survived a plunge into Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano when he lost his footing along a 300-foot cliff, according to reports.

The man fell about 60 to 70 feet Wednesday night after climbing over a railing at the Steaming Bluff overlook to get a closer look into the Halemaumau crater, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

He was critically injured in the fall about 6:30 p.m. into the caldera, a cauldron-shaped hollow that forms after a large volume of magma erupts over a short time, officials said.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers and Hawaii island fire crews rescued the man, in his 30s, who was flown by military chopper to Hilo Medical Center about 9 p.m.

The rescuers “successfully completed a high-angle extrication using ropes and stokes litter,” according to a news release from the national park.

“Visitors should never cross safety barriers, especially around dangerous and destabilized cliff edges,” Chief Ranger John Broward said in the release. “Crossing safety barriers and entering closed areas can result in serious injuries and death.”

The last fall fatality in the park occurred on Oct. 29, 2017.

Last year, several eruptions at the volcano prompted widespread evacuations in the surrounding areas.

Kilauea, one of five volcanoes on the Big Island, is one of the most active in the world, according to the US Geological Survey.

The alert level at Kilauea, which is not currently erupting, is “green,” according to an April 30 update from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

“Monitoring data over the past eight months have shown relatively low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas emission at the summit and East Rift Zone including the area of the 2018 eruption,” it said.

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