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Hikers Injured in Rock Fall Incident at Grand Canyon National Park

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Date: March 30, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Two hikers were injured yesterday in a human-caused rock fall incident on the South Kaibab Trail below the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

On Tuesday, March 29, at approximately 2:15 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report that a male hiker had been injured by a rock fall in "the chimney" (a section of tight switchbacks located immediately below the rim) on the South Kaibab Trail. Emergency response personnel were immediately dispatched to the location.

Upon arriving at the scene, responders found two people who had suffered non-life threatening injuries in the incident – one nine-year old male and one 18-year old male. At that time, park staff were also informed that the rock fall appeared to have been human-caused.

While rangers began investigating the rock fall, emergency responders stabilized their patients before transporting them to the rim. By 3:15 p.m., both patients had arrived at the South Rim; and the nine-year old male was taken to the North Country Grand Canyon Clinic where he was treated and released. The 18-year old male was transported via ambulance to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.

The investigation has indicated that the rock fall was unintentionally caused by the activities of a visitor on a switchback above the injured hikers.

The National Park Service would like to remind everyone to use caution when approaching the edge both on the rim and on the trail as loose rock is prevalent and easily dislodged. Hikers are also reminded that during the spring freeze-thaw cycle an increase in naturally occurring rock falls should be expected.

No additional information about this incident is available at this time.

 -NPS-

Did You Know?

THE INNER GORGE OF THE GRAND CANYON, 1200 feet (366m)

Within the Grand Canyon, the rugged, V-shaped Inner Gorge rises darkly from the Colorado River. The broad shelf above it is the Tonto Platform, which spreads like a green blanket across both sides of the canyon. The Inner Gorge achieves a depth of over 1200 feet (366m)