On Monday, local authorities, emergency crews and aid workers responded to a call for help at an ice cave complex near Granite Falls in Washington state.
According to the report, several people were injured or trapped inside after the ice cave suddenly collapsed.
Snohomish County deputies reported that the Big Four Ice Caves experienced another partial collapse June 5 and several people were injured.
On Sunday, a hiker caught on camera another collapse, while some people missed being hit by a few seconds. But on Monday, there were injured people though their number remains largely unknown. The victims were mostly hikers.
Shari Ireton a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s office confirmed that the caves collapsed, but declined to provide an exact number of the casualties or any details on their current condition or how severe their injuries were.
“Injured parties are being transported from the area by air and ground. Several area fire and aid are on scene,”
Ireton reported a few hours after the ice cave collapse.
The Sheriff’s office didn’t return any calls or e-mails from the Associated Press which was interested in more details.
As of Monday. in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center at least one person injured in the collapse was expected by the ER unit. Minutes later journalists witnessed an injured person being transported to an ambulance from an helicopter.
A day before, another collapse was filmed by a tourist. The video, which contains explicit language, shows several hikers around the cave when a medium-sized block of ice above the entrance suddenly tumbles down. At that date there were no injured people.
Nevertheless, in May Snohomish County authorities placed a warning sign and urged tourists to stay out of the ice caves. Back then, Forest Service said that the Big Four Ice Caves were in their most “dangerous state” although the busiest tourist season was just about to start.
Due to unusual high temperatures for the season, the system of ice caves is extremely fragile and in a condition that would not normally occur until September. Authorities deemed the caves’ current condition “large, inviting, and collapsing.”
However, the caves are a very popular hiking and sightseeing site in the Snoqualmie National Forest, in the northern parts of Seattle. And keeping people away may turn out to be a challenging task. Yet, the glacier there is one of the most unstable in all states. Plus you need to walk half of mile from the nearest parking lot to reach it, making the emergency crews’ job even more difficult.
About five years ago, another ice cave collapse in the area led to the death of a 11-year-old girl.
Image Source: Komo News
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