Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Death in Sloans Valley Cave

From the Courier-Journal:

TATEVILLE, Ky. — A man slipped into a deep pit and was killed Wednesday while exploring a treacherous southeastern Kentucky cave, officials said.

Crews worked for hours to recover the body of Steven Troxell, 21, who died of blunt force trauma, said Pulaski County Coroner Richard New.

Troxell and two companions were walking inside the Sloans Valley cave when he fell into the cone-shaped, 30-foot-deep pit. His companions called 911 about 3 p.m., officials said. The coroner said the three were not experienced cavers.

The opening to the cave is located on private property, and it was not clear whether the owners were aware anyone was exploring it, New said.

Troxell's body was found about three-quarters of a mile inside the cave, which is part of a system that meanders about 25 miles beneath private and public lands in a part of Kentucky known for its outdoor recreation. The system is one of the longest in the world.

“It's probably one of the most treacherous caves in the county and probably in the cave system,” New said.

The photos shown here were found on ElZorroTOX's Tabblo, and I noticed they have a photo of a bat in the cave that seems to have traces of the mystery bat-attacking fungus beginning to grow on its ears.

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