Tourist falls 100s of feet into Grand Canyon while taking photo

by Kim Boateng Last updated on April 5th, 2019,

Phoenix, Arizona: An international tourist is presumed dead after he fell hundreds of feet into the Grand Canyon while trying to take photos Thursday, according to David Leibowitz, a spokesman for Grand Canyon West.

Leibowitz said a tour group from Hong Kong was visiting the Grand Canyon, and many of the tourists were taking photos very close to the rim of the canyon.

While attempting to snap a photo at Eagle Point, adjacent to the popular Skywalk attraction, a 50-year-old man from the group accidentally fell off the rim and into the canyon.

According to Leibowitz, a helicopter search located the man’s body at the bottom of the canyon. His body will be transported by helicopter to the nearest hospital.

Two people have died at the Grand Canyon in separate incidents this week that included one man stumbling over the edge of the rim while trying to take pictures, officials said.

A helicopter lifted the body of the Hong Kong man from 1,000 feet (305 meters) below the rim Thursday afternoon at Grand Canyon West, a popular tourist destination on the Hualapai reservation outside the boundaries of the national park, spokesman David Leibowitz said. His identity hasn’t been released.

The fall happened earlier Thursday when not many visitors are at Eagle Point, a remote site best known for the Skywalk, a horse-shoe shaped glass bridge that juts out from the canyon wall. The rim has some ledges and outcroppings below but no barrier between tourists and the edge.

The man in his 50s was taking photos when he stumbled and fell, Leibowitz said. Signs at Eagle Point warn tourists not to get too close to the edge.

The area is closed for the day, Leibowitz said. He extended the tribe’s prayers to the man’s family.

The Hualapai reservation includes a roughly 100-mile (161-kilometer) stretch of the Grand Canyon at its western edge.

Meanwhile, authorities at Grand Canyon National Park — about 95 miles (153 kilometers) east — were working to identify a person believed to be a foreign national. A body was found Tuesday evening in a wooded area south of Grand Canyon Village away from the rim, the park said.

The person’s relatives haven’t been notified, and the cause of death is unclear, park spokeswoman Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes said. The National Park Service and the local medical examiner’s office are investigating.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., drawing nearly 6.4 million visitors last year. Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai reservation gets about 1 million visitors annually.

Image: The Grand Canyon celebrated its 100th anniversary as a national park on Feb. 26, 2019. Millions of people visit the park each year, forcing managers to balance the needs of tourism and conservation.

 

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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