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Dad suffered 'worst death imaginable' after he was left stuck upside down in a cave

Emily Brown

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Dad suffered 'worst death imaginable' after he was left stuck upside down in a cave

Featured Image Credit: Jones Family Handout

A dad is described as having suffered the 'worst death imaginable' after he got stuck upside down in a cave in Utah.

At just 26 years old, John Edward Jones was in the prime of his life when he suffered the fatal tragedy in 2009.

The adventurous dad-of-one had grown up going on caving expeditions in Utah when he was a child, and just a few days before Thanksgiving that year, he and his family decided to explore Nutty Putty Cave, located southwest of Utah Lake and about 55 miles from Salt Lake City.

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John was joined at the cave by his brother, Josh, and a number of other friends and family members who thought the trip might be a good way to connect ahead of the holiday.

As the expedition got underway, John, who was six feet tall and 200 pounds, decided to seek out a formation in the cave known as the 'Birth Canal' - a passage explorers are forced to crawl through.

Thinking he'd found the passage, John set about worming his way into it head first. He crawled forwards into the passage, but realized within minutes that something was wrong.

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The passage wasn't the one he'd thought, and with the walls of the cave pressing around him, John realized he was stuck.

The opening, located around 400 feet from the cave's entrance, measured just 10 inches by 18 inches, meaning he had no room to turn around, and couldn't wiggle out backwards.

John attempted to push all of the air out of his chest to squeeze through a tiny space, but when he inhaled again he was stuck for good.

John's body is still in the cave. Credit: Jones Family
John's body is still in the cave. Credit: Jones Family
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His brother, Josh, was the first to find him and attempt to pull him out, but he had no luck. Josh went to get help, but it took time to get the necessary equipment down into the cave.

Over the next 24 hours, more than 100 rescue workers arrived to try and help free John, whose body was experiencing great stress as his heart was forced to work hard against his upside-down position to keep the blood going around his body.

Rescuers attempted to get John loose with a series of pulleys and managed to pull him a few feet out of the passage, but when one of the pulleys failed, John slipped back into the crevice and was trapped for good.

Shortly before midnight on 25 November 2009, John was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest.

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A week after John's death, officials sealed off the cave, with his body still inside, out of fear that other people might lose their lives to the tight passageways.

The cave now serves as a memorial to John's tragic death.

Topics: News, Life, US News

Emily Brown
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