Cave Rescue, February 13, 1987
Cave in the Canoe Creek Mine, PA


REPORT

At about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 13, a group of bat specialists, led by Jim Kennedy, entered a cave intersected by the Canoe Creek Mine (no natural entrance). At about 3:30, Kennedy was standing on a steep talus slope including three rocks of 300 pounds or so. Suddenly the slope collapsed, carrying Kennedy over the edge of a pit. He apparently didn't fall very far, but was obviously injured and in great pain.

It took little time to get help and within an hour the local fire department had arrived and placed the victim on a litter with hot packs to prevent hypothermia. Nittany Grotto rescuers soon arrived and spent three hours rigging and lifting the victim up 60 feet to a small opening that led down to the mine passage. Kennedy was carried out of the mine by 10:30 p.m. and evacuated by helicopter to Altoona hospital for stabilization before being taken to West Virginia Medical Center at Morgantown. He had suffered a fracture on both sides of his pelvis.


References

NSS News, December 1988 (Part 2) V46N12, Page 480.

G. C. "Caving Accident" Cave Hunter (Huntingdon County) April 1987.


Analysis

Rockfall can occur in situations from the apparently stable to the obviously unstable. Perhaps we should regard any obvious instability as something desiring to do us harm and treat accordingly.