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Hawaii island man found dead in freshly caved-in shaft

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Hawaii County firefighters recovered the body of a 72-year-old man who fell down a 25- to 30-foot deep shaft on the Kaumana property where he lived.

Hawaii County police officers responded to a missing person call Monday at 2676 Poki Place and discovered the man in a “freshly caved in” portion of a manicured property, which had opened up and exposed a 24-by-30-inch shaft.

The fire department was called at 10:17 a.m. and got on scene at 10:35 a.m.

Firefighters from East Hawaii’s HazMat station and the Waiakea Rescue Company 2 used a rappel-and-relay system and lowered a single rescuer using a special breathing apparatus that delivers air from tanks at the surface through a hose.

The man’s body was “packaged in extremely tight quarters,” then brought to the surface, the fire department said in a news release.

Police are continuing their investigation into the death. The fire department said the man lived on the property, but the property owner was unknown.

Correction: A previous version of this story had the incorrect day for when the man’s body was recovered. Firefighters recovered his body today.
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