Ice caves collapse: Big Four Ice Caves Collapse

Published: July 7, 2015

Ice caves collapse: Big Four Ice Caves Collapse, Just a day after several tourists avoided injury in a partial collapse at the Big Four Ice Caves, rescue crews on Monday were once again dispatched to the Snohomish County caves after another collapse killed one hiker and injured five others.

Several people called 911 Monday evening at about 5:30 p.m. to report a collapse at the caves, according to Shari Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The callers said hikers were potentially injured and trapped inside the cave, according to Ireton.

When rescue crews arrived at the caves, they found three seriously injured hikers, and two hikers with less severe injuries. One person – a 34-year-old woman – was killed in the collapse, according to Ireton.

Ireton said the injured hikers were transported to local hospitals “by air and ground.”

In Seattle, Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg says two men — ages 35 and 25 — were airlifted to the hospital. A 35-year-old woman was also airlifted to the hospital.

Gregg said all three patients arrived in serious to critical condition and are being treated in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit for “crushing injuries” and lacerations to their heads, shoulders and legs.

But their conditions had improved by Tuesday morning. The 25-year-old man had been upgraded to serious condition in intensive care, while the 35-year-old man had been upgraded to satisfactory condition and was no longer in ICU. The 35-year-old woman was released from the hospital late Monday night.

Two other victims, including a young girl with minor injuries, were sent to an Everett hospital, Ireton said. The extent of the other patient’s injuries was not known. All the victims of the collapse were believed accounted for, she said.

The hiker who died has not been identified.

On Sunday, a hiker filmed a large section of the caves tumbling down. Several tourists were inside the cave during that collapse, but there were no reported injuries.

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