Cave Rescue, May 14, 1983
Death Pit, WV


On May 14, 1983, two cavers entered 60 foot Death Pit. At the bottom is a body-sized crawlway (1.5 feet X 1.5 Feet) with good airflow. Blasting had been done to open a constriction in the crawl so one caver entered, removed some debris, then turned around in a small alcove lo head. out. He was reportedly checking the stability of the passage when he kicked the ceiling. A rock forming part of the ceiling then fell, pinning the victim's feet. His body blocked his companion from assisting so he worked at the rock with a small crowbar. The rock was moved a little and somehow the victim got his feet out of his tennis shoes and was free. He climbed the 60 foot cable ladder in stocking feet.


John Ganter "Cave Incident Report" Mar 1 2, 1984.


After blasting one must always inspect the site for instability. This is done by banging on everything in sight but never when any part of you is under something potentially unstable. If necessary, start at the entrance and progress.