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Girl plunges 550 feet to her death at Yellowstone National Park

A young girl plunged some 550 feet to her death at Yellowstone National Park after stepping off a trail overlooking a 1,200-foot canyon and losing her footing.

Yellowstone National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1976). Credit: Getty Images Yellowstone National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1976). Credit: Getty Images

A young girl plunged some 550 feet to her death at Yellowstone National Part on Sunday after stepping off a trail overlooking a 1,200-foot canyon and losing her footing, a park official said on Monday.

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The child and her family were hiking a popular path along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - an ancient 20 mile-long geologic formation - toward a fenced platform where visitors can observe the park’s tallest waterfall, when the accident happened, Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said.

The girl’s name, age and other personal details were being withheld pending notification of family members, Nash said.

Park crews on Sunday rappelled from a helicopter to retrieve the child’s body where it had fallen against a rocky outcropping above the floor of the colorful canyon.

It was the second such recovery in two days after tourists suffered fatal accidents at Yellowstone. A swift water rescue team on Saturday extracted a dead seasonal hotel worker who was swept away one week ago while tubing the powerful Yellowstone River, where rafting is banned because of safety concerns, Nash said.

The body of Darien Latty, 22, of Demorest, Georgia, was found submerged Saturday where it had been pinned by a boulder about a quarter of a mile from the confluence of the Lamar and Yellowstone rivers in the northeastern part of the park.

Just a handful of the roughly 3 million annual visitors die by accident at a park that spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Nash said, adding, “Both of these incidents remind us of the need to be vigilant of your personal situation and that of those around you when visiting a wild place like Yellowstone.”

 
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