'I saw him die': Sister of father 'crushed to death' in indoor cave left 'traumatised' after seeing tragedy

2 May 2023, 08:35 | Updated: 2 May 2023, 08:38

Carl O’Keeffe, 49, had to be rescued from the simulated cave experience at Kong Adventure Centre, in Keswick
Carl O’Keeffe, 49, had to be rescued from the simulated cave experience at Kong Adventure Centre, in Keswick. Picture: Facebook/Google
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The sister of a dad-of-three who was 'crushed to death' in an indoor cave at a popular adventure park has been left 'traumatised' after 'watching him die'.

Carl O’Keeffe, 49, had to be rescued from the simulated cave experience at Kong Adventure Centre, in Keswick, after becoming stuck for over four hours on April 22.

On Monday, his family revealed that he died on Sunday at around 3pm.

Mr O'Keeffe's sister Olivia Short said she sat at her brother's bedside everyday since the incident, which has left her feeling "traumatised".

Carl O’Keeffe
Carl O’Keeffe. Picture: Facebook

Writing on Facebook, Ms Short paid tribute to her brother, saying: "At 3pm today [Sunday] I sat with Carl and said good bye forever.

"He was my baby brother and over the last few years became my best friend. I loved him dearly and we were in contact daily doing word challenges and exchanging weird facts of nature.

"I also got to spend alternate weekends with him and his children."

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She continued: "I have been with him since his accident in Keswick on Saturday 22nd April. He was taken to Carlisle hospital intensive care with crush injuries. 

"It became apparent that the injuries were severe and he would not be able to survive".

Ms Short said she has been left "traumatised" by brother's death, telling the Telegraph: "I watched him die."

The incident happened at the popular Cumbria attraction on April 22
The incident happened at the popular Cumbria attraction on April 22. Picture: Google

More than 50 people were involved in the rescue of Mr O'Keeffe from inside the cave, including from Cumbria Fire and Rescue, Keswick Mountain Rescue and Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit.

A spokesperson for Kong Adventure said: "All the staff at Kong Adventure are shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news.

"Our thoughts at this time are with the family, friends and everyone involved."

A spokesperson for Cumberland Council added: “We have been notified of an incident that took place at the Kong Adventure Centre, Keswick, and are investigating the matter, as the regulating body.”

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