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Wednesday, February 26, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Colo. Woman Dies; Seattle Man Escapes

Times Staff: Times News Services

VOLCANO, Hawaii

Two people taking a steam bath next to a volcanic steam vent fell into the gap and one died.

The body of Elizabeth Ann Matsch, 24, of Boulder, Colo., was brought to the surface yesterday from 20 feet down. John Schnorr, 25, of Seattle climbed out of the 2 1/2-foot-wide hole and was not seriously hurt.

"It took us quite a while to get her out. We couldn't get within 10 feet of her because of the scalding heat," said Jim Martin, chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteers were sitting at the edge of the vent and tried to move away after a gust of steam erupted, but slipped, authorities said.

People often take steam baths at the vents a half-mile from the Kilauea crater.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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