Man, 75, Dies After Falling Into Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano from 'Closed Area' of National Park

·2 min read
KILAUEA VALCANO ERUPTION, HAWAII-- DECEMBER 21, 2020: 08 - Maxars WorldView-2 satellite collected new imagery of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaiis Big Island which began erupting again.
KILAUEA VALCANO ERUPTION, HAWAII-- DECEMBER 21, 2020: 08 - Maxars WorldView-2 satellite collected new imagery of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaiis Big Island which began erupting again.

Maxar Technologies/Getty Kilauea Volcano

An elderly man has died after falling into Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano, according to authorities.

"A 75-year-old Hilo man died after falling from a closed area within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park late Sunday night," the National Park Service said in a statement shared on Monday. (Hilo is a town located on the northeastern side of Hawaii.)

Authorities said that man was reported as being "missing from within the park" by family members around 12:15 a.m. local time on Monday.

"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," the NPS said in the statement.

With the assistance of a helicopter, park rangers recovered his body around 8 a.m. that day.

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Authorities have yet to release the identity of the man, pending further notification.

No additional details about the man's death are currently available as the park service continues its investigation.

Kilauea was labeled the most dangerous volcano in the country, according to a 2018 report from the US Geological Survey.

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KILAUEA VALCANO ERUPTION, HAWAII-- DECEMBER 2, 2020: 04 - Maxar satellite imagery of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaiis Big Island before it began erupting again.
KILAUEA VALCANO ERUPTION, HAWAII-- DECEMBER 2, 2020: 04 - Maxar satellite imagery of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaiis Big Island before it began erupting again.

Maxar Technologies/Getty Kilauea Volcano

In September, the volcano began erupting, "creating fountains that were up to 100 feet tall and thick plumes of smoke ― and flooding the floor of Halemaumau Crater," CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV reported at the time.

Since then, people have also been traveling to the park at night in order to catch a glimpse of the glowing lava lake, according to CBS News.

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Back in 2019, authorities were able to save a visitor who fell about 70 ft. into the volcano, the Star Advertiser reported at the time.

Park officials told the outlet that the man, identified as being in his 30s, had climbed over a railing to get a closer look before accidentally falling from a cliff.

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