Ice Cave Collapse Kills 1; Injures 5

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

An ice cave that is part of the Big Four Ice Caves at Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest east of Seattle partially collapsed, killing a 34-year-old woman.

Eight people were in the back of the cave when the collapse took place around 5 p.m. Tuesday.  The caves had large warning signs about instability but the caves were not blocked.

“It’s not illegal to go in the caves. However, we’ve been saying since mid-May, it’s extremely dangerous with all this hot weather,” Shari Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office told CNN before noting that hot weather weakens the caves.

“There was a large pile of ice and rock that came down,” she said. “So it wasn’t just one big slab. … It wasn’t a piece of a shelf coming off.”

“They’re essentially a frozen-over avalanche chute sitting over a waterfall, sitting below a giant rock shoot,” Ireton added. “It’s incredibly dangerous.”

A witness told ABC that she heard a pop before the ice gave way.

“Everybody was happy. It was really cool. … [Then] we heard a pop and I got really nervous and I just look up and there’s, I see there’s this sheet of ice coming down,” said Chloe Jakubowski, 18. “I crouched down as quickly as I could and I put my hands over my head.”

“It was really scary,” she said. “I just didn’t know if those were going to be my last few moments.”

A 25-year-old man hurt in the collapse remains in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center although his status was upgraded from critical to serious.

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