After a Washington ice cave collapse which occurred in Snohomish County on Monday four people were injured and one died. The incident took place the Big Four Ice Caves in the the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest which is a popular recreation spot.
It is not yet known whether the person who died was a man or a woman since the body was not yet recovered because of the fragile ice. So the recovery efforts were interrupted for the night and the body remained buried under the debris.
A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Susan Gregg, explained that two males were treated at the hospital for pelvis and leg fractures and for head laceration. Shortly afterwards a woman arrived as well. According to Gregg the 35-year-old woman’s condition was satisfactory and all of the persons who were injured were conscious, but one of the men (35) was in serious condition and the other man who was 25 years old was in critical condition. The fourth person who was injured was a girl who was not seriously hurt. She was transported by ground at Providence Medical Center in Everett where she was treated. According to the authorities no one else is trapped under the ice.
The caves are almost 70 miles northeast of Seattle. On Monday the temperatures in the area almost reached 80 degrees. In May the U.S. Forest Service warned that because of the extreme weather the ice caves will be in a very dangerous state. Hikers were urged to stay out of the cave and along the trail there were even some signs which warned people to steer clear.
In fact this ice cave collapse was the second partial collapse which occurred in the second straight day. On Sunday a part of the caves tumbled down and it was filmed by a hiker. During the collapse several tourists were inside, but no injuries were reported.
The Big Four Ice Caves are formed by avalanches which during spring and winter cascade from the Big Four Mountain which is nearby. As the ice melts one or more caves form most of the years.
This is not the first time such an accident occurred here. In 2010 a girl who was 11 years old was as well killed by the falling ice.
Image Source: seattlepi.com