Fatal Ice Cave Collapse in Washington State
On July 6th, the Big Four Ice Caves northwest of Washington partially collapsed, killing one person and injuring four others.
Details about the Fatal Big Four Ice Caves Collapse
The International Business Times has reported that three of the four injured persons who were injured n the collapse of the Big Four Ice Caves were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle while the fourth injured, a juvenile girl, was taken to Providence Medical Center.
Shari Ireton, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman, reported that the body of the deceased hiker has not been identified at this time. The body is currently buried under debris, which has momentarily hindered the body recovery effort.
It was Monday July 6th around 5:48 p.m. when emergency control received a call about the accident Associated Press reported, quoting Shari Ireton.
Chloe Jakubowski, one of the hikers from Seattle, is quoted in the Seattle Times saying she and three friends drove close to 15 miles to a pay phone to call emergency services after the collapse.
Currently, Snohomish County emergency officials reportedly said the area around the cave site is to remain closed until search and rescue teams have recovered the body of the deceased hiker and the caves have been examined for safety.
Warnings and Previous Incidents at the Big Four Ice Caves
International Business Times reported that this collapse took place two days after another collapse. A hiker had videotaped the caves collapsing and trapping several tourists inside on that Sunday July 5th. No injuries were reported that day.
The United States Forest Service had cautioned people in May that the ice caves were in their “most dangerous state” due to the warm weather as reported by the Associated Press. Temperatures at the time of the serious collapse on Monday were allegedly in the 80’s.
It is reported that this is the first deceased hiker at the ice caves since July 2010 when Grace Tam, an 11 year-old girl, died after a cave-in. The Tam family filed a lawsuit against the United States Forest Service in 2011. According to the Seattle Times, they claimed that the Big Four Ice Caves did not properly warn visitors about the possible danger. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.