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Climber falls into Mt. St. Helens crater; rescue effort underway

February 15, 2010 |  5:44 pm

Image from Mount St. Helens volcano cam at 4 p.m. Monday.

A climber has fallen into the crater at Mt. St. Helens in Washington state and a rescue effort is underway.

The Associated Press reports that the Skamania County Sheriff's office said that a U.S. Geological Survey helicopter spotted the climber on a steep slope near the bottom of the crater, but was unable to pick him up because of whiteout conditions and high winds.

The climber's condition is unknown, though he is conscious because he has been blowing a rescue whistle.

Undersheriff Dave Cox said that a Coast Guard rescue helicopter has been contacted but it's uncertain if the climber can be rescued before nightfall. Meanwhile, a ground rescue team is being organized.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Image from Mt. St. Helens volcano cam at 4 p.m. Monday. Credit: USDA Forest Service / Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument  

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