Man tragically falls to his death at Grand Canyon while trying to take photos
Last week, two deaths were reported at the Grand Canyon; at least one of which occurred when the victim was trying to take photographs. This particular incident occurred on the Thursday, and is believed to have involved a tourist from Hong Kong.
According to a spokesman for Grand Canyon West, the man - who is thought to have been in his late 50s - had been taking pictures close to the edge of the canyon the Eagle Point observation area, and had ignored signs warning him not to get too close to the edge.
Witnesses say that he slipped and fell, and subsequently plummeted 1,000 feet (304.8 metres) to his death. A helicopter search was initiated immediately, and the body was recovered the same day.
According to David Leibowitz, a spokesman for the Eagle Point observation area, the man had been part of a tour group visiting the world-famous site. CNN reported that at the time of his death, he had strayed slightly from his group, and was taking a selfie near the edge of the canyon.
Tragically, the man - who has not yet been formally identified - was only about 100 yards from the Skywalk, a purpose-built platform on which tourists can take photographs, when he fell.
"The thoughts and prayers of every Grand Canyon West employee remain with the loved ones of this individual and the members of the tour group," spokespeople for the destination said in a prepared statement.
The other fatality last week, which occurred on Tuesday, took place under very different circumstances.
According to a statement by the National Park Service (NPS), a visitor to the site had passed away near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. No information about the victim has been disclosed, but Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes, a spokesperson for the park, assured people that the death had nothing to do with a fall.
"On average, there [are] about 12 fatalities in the park per year, but a small percentage of those are from fatal falls," said Ceja-Cervantes. "The causes of those deaths range from heat, to drowning, to medical issues and more. High elevation plays a role in some of the fatalities."
At present, the NPS and the Coconino County Medical Examiner are conducting an investigation into how the earlier death occurred.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA. Last year alone, it attracted almost 6.4 million visitors. Grand Canyon West, where the second visitor died, draws in about a million of those people.