Cameraman rescued from volcano crater

VOLCANO, Hawaii–A movie cameraman was pulled from a volcano crater yesterday, two days after his helicopter crashed and trapped him in sweltering volcanic fumes, authorities said.

Michael Benson, 42, was in stable condition at Hilo Hospital’s intensive care unit, nursing supervisor Janet Mastumura said.

No further details were released.

Benson and a second photographer were shooting aerial footage for Paramount Pictures’ psychological thriller “Sliver,” which stars Sharon Stone, William Baldwin and Tom Berenger.

Efforts to rescue Benson from inside Kilauea Volcano crater had been delayed by heavy smoke, rainy weather and fog, authorities said. Another trapped cameraman had crawled to safety Sunday.

A break in the weather yesterday allowed a helicopter to lower into the crater and drop a basket attached to a 150-foot rope, said Donna Cuttone, ranger at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Benson appeared to be in good condition, as he stood and waved when a helicopter flew over the Pu’u O’o vent earlier yesterday, said Richard Rasp, a spokesman for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Benson, 42, was stuck about 60-feet below the rim of the 600-foot-high crater , Rasp said. Rescuers had been unable to see Benson because of the solid cloud formation from the fumes and steam, he said.

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