One dead, four hurt in collapse at Big 4 Ice Caves

One person died and four others were hurt Monday in a partial collapse of the Big 4 Ice Caves near Granite Falls in Snohomish County.

The body of the person killed remained under debris overnight while recovery efforts were suspended.

Three of the injured were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with injuries including head lacerations and leg fractures.

A 35-year-old woman was treated and released Monday night. A 25-year-old man was upgraded from critical to serious condition and was in intensive care Tuesday morning. A 35-year-old man was upgraded from serious to satisfactory condition Tuesday.

A juvenile was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett and another was said to be on the way Monday night.

The ice caves are located on Mountain Loop Highway in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, about 70 miles northeast of Seattle.

Numerous signs warn people to stay away from the unstable and dangerous caves.

The U.S. Forest Service warned hikers in May that the Big Four Ice Caves were in their "most dangerous state" due to unseasonably warm weather.

Temperatures have been in the 80s and 90s in the past week, and hikers have reported on the Washington Trails Association website that there was a lot of water running off around the ice caves and sections of ice had broken off.

A video taken on Sunday by Sara Soleimani shows a small collapse. No one was hurt.

In 2010 an 11-year-old girl was killed by a falling chunk of ice.


Snohomish County officials said Monday night that the area is closed until further notice while search and rescue teams assess the area for recovery of the deceased victim. Due to the fragile nature of the ice at the caves because of hot weather and rock fall from overhead, teams are working to ensure the safety of all rescue personnel.


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