|Tragic ... cop guards caves after roof collapse
Aiden Brookes had been celebrating the Easter holidays at a "cave rave" with pals — drinking beer and listening to music.
But the 16-year-old and about 20 other teens were asleep around their campfire when the heat and 7ft flames dislodged a suitcase-sized lump of sandstone.
The A-level student — whose mum gave birth to her second child last week — suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
An 18-year-old girl called Jessie was also hurt, suffering back, neck and rib injuries.
The friends called 999 and desperately tried to revive Aiden, guided by the operator.
Paramedics scaled rocks to reach Hermitage Caves in Bridgnorth, Shrops, where they took over from the "traumatised" youngsters but were unable to save Aiden.
The historic caverns are a regular haunt for local teens despite being fenced off after they began crumbling.
There are also "Danger — Keep Out" signs.
Joe Cooper, 16, had been on his first cave rave when the tragedy happened.
He said: "The stone just fell out of nowhere and toppled on to Aiden while he was asleep.
"I was very frightened and the thought going through my head was, 'What the hell has happened?'"
Jack Martin, 16, added: "There were about 20 lads who went up there to have a drink. They made a fire and it got too hot and then the rock started to fall because it's made of sandstone.
|Victim ... Aiden Brookes
He said: "I thought nothing more of it. Teenagers are always going up there, getting drunk and having a good time."
Yesterday afternoon five friends laid flowers near the scene. One said they were all "absolutely gutted".
Last night the caves were sealed off with steel mesh as a Shrops Fire spokesman told how the flames could have triggered the collapse.
He said: "It is possible temperature changes in rocks can cause them to crack and then subsequently fall away."
Aiden, who lived in Bridgnorth, was in the Army cadets and a talented rugby player.
Jade Ives, 17, who went to the town's Oldbury Wells School with him, said: "He was a really gentle lad.
"His mum had a baby last week and he was looking forward to being a big brother."
Source: The Sun