Authorities identify senior who died after falling into lava tube in his backyard

Authorities identify senior who died after falling into lava tube in his backyard
An elderly man died Monday after falling into a lava tube in Hilo. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police have identified the elderly man who died after falling into a lava tube on his property.

The victim was identified as 71-year-old Robert Hisashi Nishimoto.

Police responded to his home in Kaumana on Monday morning after neighbors reported they hadn’t seen or heard from him in several days.

Once they arrived, first responders discovered the man had fallen through a soft area of ground on his property into a lava tube His body was roughly 22 feet below the surface, authorities said.

Firefighters rappelled into the lava tube and brought the man’s body back to the surface. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy determined that the man died from injuries consistent with falling.

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