Published: Sat, November 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Man Falls to His Death in Lava Tube Hiding in His Yard

Man Falls to His Death in Lava Tube Hiding in His Yard

Hawaii police are investigating the death of an elderly man who fell into a lava tube on his property, according to a Wednesday press release.

"It appears (the victim) was trimming some branches in his yard and fell into a lava tube on his property and expired", Hawaii Police Department Maj.

Police say they responded to a request for a welfare check on a 71-year-old man after people hadn't heard from him in the last several days.

Investigators determined he had fallen through a soft area of ground in his yard, then plummeted down a lava tube, authorities said. Robert Wagner said, reported news site Big Island Now. As the lava flows, the top and sides of the stream harden, forming a tube in which the rest of the lava continues to flow.

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He was taken to Hilo Medical Center upon extraction, where he was declared dead. However, extinct tubes (the ones without flowing lava) are often used as tourist attractions in Hawaii.

Responding officers arrived to the scene at approximately 8.30am and located the man's body, the release from the Hawaii Police Department states.

Hawaii has many lava tubes, especially the eastern part of the Island near Hilo, where the Mauna Loa volcano is still active and where the extensive Kaumana cave system was formed during the 1880-1881 series of eruptions of Mauna Loa.

An autopsy performed Tuesday confirmed that the victim died as a result of injuries constant with a fall.

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