PHOTO: A lava flow from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. (photo via Flickr/Christopher Thompson)
"A group of French tourists were caught sneaking into a closed area near the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on Monday night.
According to KHON2.com, the group of 14 tourists from France was spotted just after midnight near Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers said that each of the tourists has been issued a $100 fine for violating park rules. In addition, park officials revealed that the tour guide leading the group could face up to $5,000 in penalties and possibly even jail time for his part in the illegal activity.
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“Since July 2016, our park rangers have issued 35 citations for closure violations at crater and more than 100 at the ocean entry,” Hawaii Volcanoes National Park public affairs specialist Jessica Ferracane told KHON2.com.
“People sneaking into closed areas is nothing new, but really the risks are of great concern.”
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Rangers from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also said there have been five lava-related deaths since 1990, with all coming due to tourists sneaking into restricted portions of the park.
Lava isn’t the only cause of death for people inside national parks. In 2016, a tourist at Yellowstone National Park fell into a hot spring, but his body was never recovered. Officials claim the boiling, acidic water dissolved the man’s remains.