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Man Falls Off 300-Foot Cliff Into Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Trying To Get Better View

By Victoria M. Walker

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An active duty soldier reportedly fell from a cliff into the caldera of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, according to a statement from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

According to the New York Times the man, who was not named, fell anywhere from 60 to 70 feet into Kilauea volcano’s Halemaumau crater while trying to get a better view of the edge. He reportedly climbed over a metal guardrail. The man’s unit was reportedly on the island for field training at Pohakuloa Training Area.

The crater the man fell off is on Hawaii’s Big Island. In 2018, the volcano erupted for an entire month, leaving spewing gasses and lava and leaving residents displaced. He reportedly fell into the crater around 6:30 p.m. but was not located until 9:00 p.m., according to the Times.

Remarkably, the man survived and was reportedly airlifted to a hospital by a Department of Defense helicopter. Officials said the man was “seriously injured.”

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

Kilauea is the youngest and southeastern most volcano in Hawaii, according to the United States Geological Survey. USGS says that there have been 34 eruptions since 1954, and since 1983 eruptive activity has been continuous. It is considered “among the world’s most active volcanoes.”


The report is a reminder of the dangers of breaching barriers, which are put there for the safety of tourists. According to the Associated Press, 64 fatal falls have been reported at the Grand Canyon in Arizona in the park’s history. Many, according to the report, involved a person breaching the guardrail.

The last fatal fall at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, according to the National Park Service, occurred on October 29, 2017.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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