Man captures aftermath of second rockfall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (FOX26 News)-- A man captured the aftermath of the second rockfall at Yosemite National Park.
Travel writer/photographer Doug Hansen said he and his wife, Sharen, witnessed the giant rockfall Thursday on El Captain from about 1,000 meters away.
Hansen says they were some of the closest people in the park to see the rockfall from a flat rock at the base of a mountain.
Hansen says their car and the whole area below the cliff was covered with thick dust from the aftermath.
The first rockfall happened just before 2 p.m. Wednesday near the "Waterfall Route", park officials say.
Park officials say a man died and a woman was flown out of the park with serious injuries. They were a couple from Great Britain who were in the park to rock climb but were not climbing at the time of the initial rockfall.
The man has been identified as 32-year-old Andrew Foster of Wales. Park officials say his wife, who was the other person hurt in the rockfall, is undergoing medical treatment at an area hospital.
The second rockfall happened Thursday afternoon and was significantly larger than Wednesday's rockfall.
Park officials say rockfalls are common in Yosemite Valley and the park records about 80 rockfalls a year, though many more rockfalls go unreported.
It has been 18 years since the last rockfall-related death in Yosemite National Park, park officials say. Rock climber Peter Terbush was killed by a rockfall from Glacier Point in June of 1999. Since the park began in 1857, park officials say there have been 16 deaths and more than 100 injuries from rockfalls.
Yosemite National Park remains open and visitor services are not affected by the rockfalls over the past couple of days.