Teen swept over Yosemite waterfall, climber hit by rock dies

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP)

Climbing partners are mourning the death of a 28-year-old from London who was hit by a rock on El Capitan, a signature attraction in Yosemite National Park.

(AP)

The National Park Service said Monday that Felix Joseph Kiernan was climbing on the East Buttress of the granite monolith about 600 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor when a rock dislodged and struck him Sunday afternoon.

Officials estimate the block of granite fell about 150 feet before striking Kiernan.

Witnesses climbing just below Kiernan and his partner saw the accident and called for help. Yosemite search and rescue teams reached the victim about two hours later.

It was the second reported major incident in the park over the weekend. Crews had been searching for a 19-year-old Sacramento man who was swept over a waterfall on Saturday.

The search is on hold until water levels subside.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP)

Yosemite National Park rangers are searching for a 19-year-old Sacramento man who was swept over a waterfall while swimming in the Merced River.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb says Aleh Kalman has been missing since witnesses reported seeing him get pulled to the edge of 594-foot Nevada Fall on Saturday afternoon.

A search team assisted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter spent the rest of the day unsuccessfully looking for him, suspended the search when it got dark and then picked it up again on Sunday morning.

Cobb says the river’s current was moving very quickly, with a temperature in the low 50′s, when Kalman disappeared. He was visiting Yosemite with a church group.

Officials have closed the trail below the falls while the search continues.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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