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Alabama Repelling Accident Kills Purdue Student

December 08, 2019

JACKSON COUNTY, AL- writes that a Purdue University student tragically died in a caving accident in Valhalla Cave over the weekend. The cave is located in Jackson County. The group of five students, including the young victim, a 21-year-old originally from Austin, are all reportedly experienced cavers. All five made the trip from Lafayette, Indiana, where they attend university.* 

The victim reportedly attempted to adjust the rigging after it came loose. The student ended up falling 200 feet down a vertical drop into the cave. The victim's friends had to drive two miles from the site of the accident to get cell phone reception in order to call and report the accident.

Responders recovered the man’s body the afternoon after he fell. 

Climbing can be a dangerous hobby. In Colorado, where outdoor climbing is popular, the state documented climbing accidents over a fourteen-year period. The most common injury to climbing victims during the period was injuries to the lower extremities. Out of 428 rescues, 5.5 percent proved fatal. The greatest number of fatal accidents occurred because of rocks falling on climbers, because of climbers lowering off of their ropes, and in lead falling incidents. Many of the rescues involved climbers who were lost or stranded. Most of the accidents took place in common and popular climbing locations. Men make up the vast majority of those involved in these incidents, likely because climbing is more popular with men. The largest group of climbing accidents impact climbers between the ages of twenty and 29.

The report indicates that many of the accidents are preventable and would not have occurred if climbers exercised more caution or had more experience. 

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Category: Accident News

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