Grand Canyon National Park completed centennial this year and it amazes tourists with its colorful erosion grounds. But sadly, three deaths occurred in Grand Canyon in less than two weeks.
67-year old Michael Obritsch, of Santa Rosa, California, died on April 3 after falling from the edge of the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village, near the Yavapai Geology Museum.
Park officials found his body 400 feet(more than 122 meters) below the rim.
He worked as a computer analyst before retiring and recently he was working as part-time in a pool company.
Another death happened on March 28, where 50-year old tourist from Hong Kong fell while trying to take a photo at Grand Canyon’s West Eagle Point -close to the Skywalk located on the Hualapai Reservation outside the park.
A helicopter searched for his body and they found his body at the bottom of the canyon.
Falls are the second most common cause of the death, according to Michael P. Ghiglieri, co-author of “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon.” He recorded 125 fatal falls — including 64 from the rim and 61 within the canyon. This number is when suicide was ruled out of death.
Over-flights are the most common cause of death in Grand Canyon where there are frequent cases of plane and helicopter crashing.
Forty-nine of the victims were male and 15 female.
“About 12 people die each year within Grand Canyon National Park, according to park spokeswoman Vanessa Ceja. The deaths can be attributed to everything from accidental falls to heat-related deaths to drownings during rafting trips on the Colorado River,” as azcentral news read.
National Park officials warn people to be extra cautious to keep a safe distance from the edges of Grand Canyon.
The third death was of a Japanese tourist who was found dead in wooded south of Grand Canyon Village, away from the rim.
All the three death are under investigation by the Investigative Services branch of the National Parks Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner, according to park spokeswoman Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes.
No amount of signage, railings or even verbal warnings will be enough to end the falls, said Michael P. Ghiglieri
Park officials currently don’t plan to add increased railing or signage in light of the string of deaths, Ceja-Cervantes said.