Elderly man in Hawaii killed after falling into lava tube on his property – NBCNews.com

An elderly man was killed in Hawaii after falling into a underground channel of lava on his own property, police said Wednesday.

The victim, who was not immediately identified pending next-of-kin notification, had not been seen for days before police did a welfare check at his home in Hilo on Monday, officials said.

“It appeared that he had fallen through a soft area of ground into a lava tube on his property,” police said in a statement.

Hawaiʻi Fire Department Rescue personnel responded to the scene and were able to rappel into the lava tube and extract the victim, whose body was approximately 22 feet below the surface, police said.

No foul play is suspected.

Lava tubes — natural conduits through which lava moves under the surface of a lava flow — are not uncommon in Hawaii, the island state with scores of volcanoes.