Second Rock Slide Reported in Yosemite National Park

By: AP
By: AP

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) -- A second rock slide in two days struck cabins and knocked down trees Wednesday in Yosemite National Park, witnesses said. Officials did not immediately confirm any injuries but a man reported helping a boy with a bloody forehead.

The slide happened shortly after 7:00 a.m., Yosemite National Park spokesman Erik Skindrud told KCRA-TV in Sacramento. Officials went to the area to evaluate any potential damage, he said.

Witnesses told The Associated Press the slide toppled trees and hit some tents and wooden cabins near Curry Village amphitheater. The witnesses also said some people appeared to be injured.

There was another, smaller rock slide in the same area Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured. Curry Village includes visitor lodging, stores and restaurants with the dramatic, sheer face of a granite cliff as a backdrop.

In 1996, a rock slide in the same area sent as much as 162,000 tons of rock plummeting more than 2,000 feet, killing one visitor and felling 500 trees.

Tom Trujillo, of New Milford, Conn., who was with a group of amateur photographers, saw Wednesday's rock slide and ran toward it.

"Trees were crushed all over the place," Trujillo said over the sound of a hovering helicopter. "A couple of kids, fifth or sixth-graders, were stumbling out of the area. I tried to pick them up, tried to get them out as fast as I could."

Trujillo said he helped one boy, with blood on his forehead and down his back, get out and find his mother.

"It was a really big mess," Trujillo said. "Tents were crushed, trees were knocked down, hard cabins were moved out of their positions, with boulders blocking their doorway."

Another photographer, Rena McClain, a nurse from Dover, Del., told the AP she had her back to the granite face when she heard what sounded like a thunderclap. She whipped around and saw a giant cloud of rock and dust coming down.

"People were starting to yell 'Run, Run!' and kids started to scream," said McClain.

As the dust settled, shaken teachers and chaperons gathered groups of high school students and tried to get head counts.

"The kids were crying," said McClain. "I tried to comfort them. I'm a nurse; my immediate response was 'What can I try to do to help.'"

Curry Village, founded in 1899 in south central Yosemite, has 610 canvas and wood cabins in rows among huge boulders, which geologists say are there because of prehistoric rock falls.

The beauty of the sheer granite face towering above the camp helps make Curry Village one of park's most popular lodging options.

Associated Press Writers Juliana Barbassa and Marcus Wohlsen in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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