By Malia Sio

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 1) – A female tourist who fell into a "blowhole" at Taga village on the Samoan islands of Savai'i on Monday afternoon has survived, it was learned yesterday.

The victim was identified as Line Fiala, a 26-yeare-old visitor from Denmark.

A source on Savaii said Fiala lost her footing on the slippery edge of the chute and fell in, while trying to take a closer look. She was said to have been trapped inside the lava tube for about four hours.

Monday evening, a village search party found her trying to crawl out and pulled her to safety.

"The villagers in their search found the young lady climbing out of the blowhole," one witness told the Samoa Observer.

Police, who were at the scene, took her to the Tuasivi Hospital where she was treated.

Fiala is one of a group of six who are staying at the Satuiatua Beach Fales.

Efforts to speak with her from Apia by phone were not immediately possible.

Locals said people who have fallen into the blowholes in the past have been crushed by waves surging in. But there is at least one known case previously of someone falling in and surviving.

The blowhole – a top attraction on the picturesque island – is a large hole in a shoreline outcropping that shoots a powerful blast of water high into the sky when waves enter a submerged lava tube.

October 2, 2003

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