incident at Hellhole Cave

Publication
ACA 1973 page 9
Date
16th Apr 1973
Cave
Hellhole Cave
State
West Virginia
County
Unknown
Country
USA
Category
Caving
Incident type
Caver fall
Primary cause
Unknown
Secondary cause
Group type
Cavers
Group size
Unknown
Aid type
Underground aid
Source
Unknown
Incident flags
       
Data status
Incomplete

Injured cavers

Name Age Sex Injuries Injured areas
Byers, Steve 15 Male Fracture Leg

Incident report

Besides the 155-foot entrance pit, Hellhole has several other vertical drops. Steve Byers (15) fell 15 to 30 feet at one of the drops in the back of the cave. His leg was broken in three places, so a litter was obtained from the climbing shop at Mouth of Seneca. At the entrance drop, two ropes were rigged for the litter and a third rope was rigged for ascending. Because of the numerous ledges, the litter became stuck several times and Sam Pitthan had to descend to the litter to free it. The rescue took about 8 hours.

Analysis: The accident reports gave no reason for the fall, but a belay should have prevented the accident. Pitthan believes that much of the difficulty in getting the victim to the surface could have been prevented if the litter had not been used.

Sources: Report by Sam Pitthan

Notes

Leg broken in 3 places. Trouble with getting litter out. NSS News Vol32 No11 p225.

This record was last updated on 18th Nov 2023 at 00:30 UTC.