Two Deaths Reported At Grand Canyon This Week

Members of the media and the Hualapai tribe take a preview walk on the Skywalk.
David McNew / Getty Images

Two people have died at the Grand Canyon this week.

One of the deaths was a tourist in his 50s from Hong Kong who fell 1,000 feet as he attempted to take photos near Eagle Point on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. Eagle Point, located at Grand Canyon West, is popular because of its Skywalk attraction.

The man, who has not been identified, was part of a tourist group visiting the area. He was taking photos earlier in the day when he “stumbled and fell,” David Leibowitz, a Grand Canyon West spokesman, told The AP. Authorities recovered the man’s body by helicopter later on Thursday, and the body was sent to a local medical examiner.

Grand Canyon West, not part of the Grand Canyon National Park, is located on the Hualapai reservation. Eagle Point is a remote site of the area, but it is one of the most popular attractions because of its Skywalk, a glass bridge shaped like a horseshoe that extends about 70 feet from the rim of the canyon. According to the website Grand Canyon West, the bridge is 4,000 feet above the canyon floor and can withstand the weight of 70 commercial passenger jets.

About 95 miles east of the Skybridge incident, authorities were attempting to identify a body discovered Tuesday night in a wooded area near Grand Canyon Village, located on the south rim of the canyon. The AP reported that park officials believed the individual, who was not named, was a foreign national. The cause of death was not immediately known and the local medical examiner office was reportedly investigating the death.

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Two to three people die each year from falling over the rim of the canyon, park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowsk told website My Grand Canyon, a site run by experts of national park travel.

In 2012, the Arizona Daily Sun reported about the many deaths that have occurred at the canyon over the years. The publication quoted authors Tom Myers and Michael Ghiglieri, who said the number of people who have died at the canyon was 658 — and counting. The men said that environmental problems, such as heat, were the main causes of deaths in the area. However, the authors said that 55 people had died after accidentally falling from the canyon rim.

At 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and one mile deep, the Grand Canyon is a breathtaking sight to see. My Grand Canyon reported that 6,254,238 million tourists visited the park in 2017.