Man killed after 80-foot fall at Linville Gorge

Man killed after 80-foot fall at Linville Gorge

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man was killed when he fell approximately 80 feet while rock climbing at Linville Gorge in Burke County Sunday morning, according to officials.

Emergency Management personnel say 31-year-old Austin Howell, of Illinois, was reportedly free climbing “in one of the most difficult portions of the Linville Gorge” just before noon when he fell.

Rescue crews, using rappelling equipment, were able to get to Howell at 1:18 p.m. as other climbers were performing CPR. Howell was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m.

Officials say rescuers from 15 different agencies utilized equipment and manpower to extricate Howell.

No further information has been released.

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