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Woman Seriously at Mount Rainier Injured In Fall Through Void Under Snow

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avatar Woman Seriously at Mount Rainier Injured In Fall Through Void Under Snow
June 24, 2010 02:02PM
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Woman Seriously Injured In Fall Through Void Under Snow

On the evening of June 18th, a park visitor contacted a volunteer roadside assistance ranger in the Paradise parking lot to report that someone had fallen into a "sinkhole" in the snow across the road and south from the Jackson Visitor Center. Climbing rangers responded within minutes and discovered that heat from an electrical transformer buried under 20 feet of snow had melted a large cavern in the snow. A 57-year-old California woman walking on the surface had broken through the ceiling of this cavern and fallen at least ten feet onto the hard surface of the transformer and from there onto the ground, sustaining multiple traumatic injuries. Climbing rangers at Paradise lowered a rope into the hole and stabilized the woman. Rangers and EMTs responded to the incident from all parts of the park, including a climbing ranger who skied down from Camp Muir to direct the technical rope rescue. The woman was raised to the surface in a litter with use of technical rescue gear. Meanwhile, Pierce County District 23 Station 1 advanced life support responded by ground and Airlift Northwest by air from Olympia. The injured woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center, where she is currently in the intensive care unit.
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