(WVLT) - A man has serious injuries after falling possibly 80 feet down a drop-off in a cave in Union County.
Investigators tell us three men were exploring the cave off Hickory Valley Road, North of Maynardville Tuesday night.
They say 27 year-old Christopher Pique's line broke and he fell 70 to 80 feet down.
When rescue crews arrived, they sent two firefighters down into the cave.
It was about two hours after the fall crews were able to pull Pique up in a basket.
Assistant Chief Tony Owen with the Paulette Fire Department says he had serious head injuries.
"He was in and out of consciousness quite a bit while they were down there trying to get him up. When he come out as we were carrying him down, he was losing consciousness a little bit," Owen said.
Paramedics airlifted the victim by Lifestar to UT Medical Center.
Pique is now listed in serious condition.
The other two men were not hurt in the accident.
Investigators say one of the men is the victim's brother.
Assistant Chief Owen says you should always be properly trained and completely prepared if you are going to explore potentially dangerous places.