18-year-old girl falls to her death at Yellowstone Park
A teenage girl fell to her death from Inspiration Point at Yellowstone National Park, after posing on a rocky ledge to have a picture taken.
The girl, who has not been named, was hiking with friends along the North Rim Trail of Yellowstone. She was standing on a rocky outcrop to have her picture taken against the Yellowstone Falls when the ground gave way beneath her and she fell 400 feet.
The Daily Mail reports that the girl has not yet been named but is believed to have been Russian. She reportedly arrived at the park on Thursday to begin a new job with a private concessions company in Yellowstone. The accident happened on the first day of her new job.
Another hiker, Chris Power, witnessed her fall.
He told NBC Montana: "By the time we got down there, it was pretty evident that there was nothing we could do.
"There were a few guys that were kind of looking and trying to see is there somebody that's down below on a ledge.
"Everybody that was there was just wishing and hoping that she might be able to survive."
Yellowstone Public Affairs Officer Dan Hottle said: "She was hiking with three other acquaintances and had been observed walking off trail.
"She stood at the edge of a promontory that had loose rock underneath it. Within seconds, the rock had broken loose and she had gone over the edge.
"She sustained injuries that were consistent with a non-survivable situation - there was really no way she could have survived a 400 foot fall."
Officials say that a member of the hiking party used a mobile phone to alert park authorities and rescue team later spotted a person about 400 feet below the north rim of the 1,500-foot-deep canyon.
Search teams retrieved her body the following day, in a three-hour helicopter operation.
Mr Hottle says that another member of the party miraculously escaped injury when the rock gave way.
He said: "The 18-year-old was sitting on a ledge when the rock fell away. Someone was standing right behind her and, miraculously, didn't fall."
He added: "The best we can do is reiterate the safety measures that we have about either being too close to a natural feature that's dangerous or too close to a wild animal."
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