Man Falls to His Death in Lava Tube Hiding in His Yard

It appears Nishimoto had fallen through a soft area in his lawn into a lava tube on his property.

Hawaii Fire Department Rescue crew responded to the scene and repelled down to extract the victim from 22ft below the surface.

An elderly man in Hawaii apparently fell to his death on Monday after he tumbled more than 20 feet into a lava tube in his own yard.

Hawai'i Island Police responded to a residence in Hilo at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning following a report that an elderly male had not been seen or heard from in several days.

Unfortunately, the property in question was built on top of a series of lava tube tunnels. After the lava flow stops, a lava tube cave remains, which can be large enough for people to walk through.

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Police have not released the man's name, as his family has not been notified. He was then brought to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to the US Geological Survey, lava tubes are natural channels through which lava travels beneath the surface.

An autopsy performed the following day determined that the victim died as a result of injuries from the fall. After the lava drains away, it can leave behind massive caves under the earth.

Officers also noted that they do not suspect foul play was involved. However, extinct tubes (the ones without flowing lava) are often used as tourist attractions in Hawaii.

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