US. Geological overview / AP
A 32-year-old soldier who has tried to better see the interior of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii was severely injured after falling from a 300-foot rock into the volcanic crater.
According to a park spokesman, the man climbed over a metal guardrail to get a better vantage point. Then the ground collapsed under him.
Army officers say the man is a Schofield Barracks soldier on Hawaii's Big Island for training purposes. An eyewitness saw the man rush into the volcano at around 6.30 pm and immediately informed the authorities.
Rescue workers were able to repel the volcano's interior, where they found the man on a ledge 70 feet below the rim. They attached the man to a stretcher and took him out of the crater with the help of a military helicopter.
He was flown to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition. On Thursday his condition was stabilized.
"Visitors should never cross security barriers, especially on dangerous and destabilized rock faces," said John Broward, Chief Ranger of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, in a statement, according to New York Times. He warned that crossing security barriers could lead to serious injury or death.
Matthias Kusch, battalion chief of the battalion of the Fire Department of Hawaii, said Hawaii News Now that the man "goes remarkably well for his fall" he has injuries. "
The Kilauea volcano is one of the world's most active volcanoes, breaking for months last year, destroying around 700 houses on the island with lava and ash.