• The family members of the man reported him Monday
  • Authorities found the body 100 feet below the rim of the crater 
  • Park rangers recovered the body with the help of a helicopter

A 75-year-old man has died after falling 100 feet into a volcanic crater from a closed area within Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park.

The man, a resident of Hilo, fell 100 feet below the crater rim, west of the Uekahuna viewing area at the summit of Kilauea volcano on Sunday night. He was reported missing shortly after midnight by family members. The National Park Service rangers, along with Hawaii County Firefighters, started searching for the man early Monday and found the body in the crater.

Park rangers recovered the body around 8 a.m. on the day with the help of a helicopter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

"After searching for the man in the darkness, National Park Service rangers and Hawaiʻi County firefighters located the man’s body about 100 feet below the crater rim, west of the Uēkahuna viewing area at the summit of Kīlauea volcano," the National Park Authorities said in a statement.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the man. Police are investigating the incident.

The Kilauea volcano has received thousands of visitors since it started erupting in September of last year. At the time, the eruption led to significant lava output. But, it is confined within the crater.

The eruption poses no threat to nearby communities or buildings. However, officials are concerned about spectators getting injured while visiting the crater to see the fiery show. Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park’s spokesperson Jessica Ferracane urged park visitors to recreate "responsibly."

"We still urge people who are planning to come, there could be long lines to get into the park and we’re expecting upwards of thousands of people a day to see the new eruption," Ferracane said to KGMB.

Park visitors have been flocking near the crater at night to view the bubbling lava light up the sky.

In a similar incident, a hiker attempting to scale Mt. Whitney in California during a severe storm was found dead after falling 30 feet into the base of a ledge system. The search and rescue team was able to recover the body after using an avalanche probe at the base of the ledge.

Eruptions from volcanoes such as Indonesia's Mount Merap won't counteract the effect of greenhouse gases
Active Volcano | Representational Image AFP / Daffa Ramya Kanzuddin