About a dozen people had to rappel down into the cave to rescue the teen. Source: WBRC video
The teen was reportedly conscious when he was taken to a medical helicopter. Source: WBRC video
The helicopter took the teen to UAB Hospital. Source: WBRC video
BLOUNT COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -
An 18-year-old man is recovering after falling 50 feet inside a cave in western Blount County Monday night.
Authorities say the young man was in the cave with friends on Monday night when he slipped and fell into a tunnel-like ravine around 7:30 p.m.
His friends called 911 and crews were able to get him out by 11:30 p.m.
"One of the kids came out and called 911.
Met us at the road and said that his friend had fell and broke his leg," West Blount Volunteer Fire Department Chief J.J. Ivey said.
It took about a dozen people around three hours to get him out of the cave. Crews had to walk a quarter of a mile just to get to the cave and then hike another quarter of a mile along narrow passages to get to the teen trapped inside the cave.
Several rescues had to rappel inside the cave to reach the teen. He had suffered a fracture to his leg, but his vitals were stable when the rescuers reached him.
"We got a rescuer down to him, assessed the
patient. The patient was stable, vitals were stable. But he did have a tib-fib
fracture on his right leg," Chief Ivey explained.
The 18-year-old was conscious when he was taken to a medical helicopter that landed near I-65 and Alabama 160 in Smoke Rise. The chopper flew him to UAB Hospital.
"They were just going in exploring. A lot of kids do it. A lot of people do it," Chief Ivey said.
Chief Ivey has a word of advice for anyone who's
thinking about heading to those caves anytime soon.
"Don't go in the caves. Number one, it's private property. Number two, people don't know what they're doing," Chief Ivey added.
Three volunteer firefighter departments worked together to pull off the rescue. The West Blount Volunteer Fire Department thanked several other agencies for their help in a Facebook post:
"Cave rescue is complete. All crews are out and safe. We are thankful to Mt. High, Ricetown, Air Evac, and Blount EMS for their efforts in this rescue. We are also thankful for all thoughts and prayers of safety in this matter that were offered up by our community. This area is served by the best!"
Watch video from the scene on FOX6 News Good Day Alabama starting at 4:30 a.m.