ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials are warning people to stay away from a melting ice cave at a southeast Alaska glacier.

Officials say an aerial view of the popular ice cave at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau shows significant deterioration at the entrance and could collapse.

Summer melting and heavy rainfall are the possible sources of the ice cave’s deteriorating condition.

According to officials, new holes in the ice are widening and likely pose an increased danger in entering the cave. A collapse could be fatal or cause serious injuries because of rock debris or falling ice.

Officials say a local tour guiding company with a Forest Service permit agrees. They say the company decided earlier this month that the large cave along the glacier’s margin was unsafe to enter.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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