Yosemite rock fall victim revealed as British climber as wife remains seriously hurt – with others left ‘buried under rubble’ after fresh mountain collapse

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A BRITISH climber who was crushed to death by a massive sheet of rock at Yosemite National Park in California has been named as Andrew Foster from Wales.

Mr Foster, 32, was killed when more than 1,000 tonnes of rock fell from the face of the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.

Incredible video shows aftermath of Yosemite rock fall
 El Capitan granite monolith in Yosemite National Park is seen after a rockfall that killed Briton Andrew Foster

Reuters
El Capitan granite monolith in Yosemite National Park is seen after a rockfall that killed Briton Andrew Foster
 A climber believed to be the victim's wife is lowered by a helicopter after being lifted off El Capitan following a major rock fall in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday

AP:Associated Press
A climber believed to be the victim’s wife is lowered by a helicopter after being lifted off El Capitan following a major rock fall in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday
 One climber was rushed into helicopter and taken to hospital after being injured in the fall

Dakota Snider / Yosemite National Park
One climber was rushed into helicopter and taken to hospital after being injured in the fall
 A British climber was crushed to death by falling rocks that buried him alongside his partner after a boulder the size of a building fell from a cliff at California's Yosemite National Park

Jon Kameen
A British climber was crushed to death by falling rocks that buried him alongside his partner after a boulder the size of a building fell from a cliff at California’s Yosemite National Park
 Dakota Snider, photographer and Yosemite resident, took picture of a helicopter making a rescue off El Capitan

AP:Associated Press
Dakota Snider, photographer and Yosemite resident, took picture of a helicopter making a rescue off El Capitan

A spokesman for the park confirmed Mr Foster’s identity, while his wife – who was also hiking – was injured and remains in hospital.

The pair, found with climbing equipment, are believed to have been scouting out the ascent from a trail when a “sheet” of granite the height of a 13-storey building — about 130ft long, 65 ft wide and in some sections 10ft thick — tore off the side of the mountain and fell from a height of 200 metres.

Scott Gediman, from the park, said: “With all the craziness I don’t exactly know where they were going but chances are they were going up.

Climber watches massive Yosemite collapse from above

“From what I understand they were buried under rock… They were crushed by falling rocks.”

He could not be specific about their injuries but said they were “consistent with tonnes of granite falling on you”.

They are the only known casualties despite being with a group of other climbers when the series of collapses struck, but a search is ongoing.

Park rangers tend to the injured after second rock slide at Yosemite
 The aftermath of a second rockfall that hit Yosemite National Park on Thursday

AP:Associated Press
The aftermath of a second rockfall that hit Yosemite National Park on Thursday
 Climber Ryan Sheridan had just reached the top of El Capitan when a rock slide let loose below him on Thursday

AP:Associated Press
Climber Ryan Sheridan had just reached the top of El Capitan when a rock slide let loose below him on Thursday
 A cloud of dust is seen in the distance on El Capitan

AP:Associated Press
A cloud of dust is seen in the distance on El Capitan

Broke loose again, we just topped out. Ground shaking, rockfall crossed road

A post shared by Ryan Sheridan (@ryansheridan) on Sep 28, 2017 at 3:23pm PDT

 The second rock fall a day later at the site saw one person injured

AP:Associated Press
The second rock fall a day later at the site saw one person injured

One witness, Mike Kane, tweeted that the collapse was “very loud”, adding it was a “miracle more (were) not hurt”.

A fresh rock fall has since hit the same site Thursday leaving several people reportedly “buried under rubble”.

Climber Peter Zabrok said it was “ten times bigger” than the first collapse, adding to DailyMail US: “I literally felt the earth shake.”

 A climber posted this pic of the collapse below them on social media

Ryan Sheridan
A climber posted this pic of the collapse below them on social media
 The section of rock that fell away from the monolith is outlined in this image

PA:Press Association
The section of rock that fell away from the monolith is outlined in this image
 A cloud of choking dust cascades down the monolith

@MissConnieTran
A cloud of choking dust cascades down the monolith
 Mr Foster's death is the first fatality from a rock fall in the park in 18 years

AP:Associated Press
Mr Foster’s death is the first fatality from a rock fall in the park in 18 years
 A massive cloud of thick dust spread across Yosemite Valley after the second rock fall

AP:Associated Press
A massive cloud of thick dust spread across Yosemite Valley after the second rock fall
 Visitors watch the rock fall from El Capitan Meadow on Thursday

AP:Associated Press
Visitors watch the rock fall from El Capitan Meadow on Thursday
 A man is helped into an ambulance after a rock fall

AP:Associated Press
A man is helped into an ambulance after a rock fall
 Onlookers watch the aftermath of the second rockfall

AP:Associated Press
Onlookers watch the aftermath of the second rockfall

He added that he had “cheated death” after managing to dodge both rock falls.

NBC reporter Connie Tran described the second collapse at El Capitan as “loud” and “thunderous”.

Others also backed up reports it was a bigger collapse than Wednesday when boulders “the size of apartments” toppled on walkers.

The number of those injured in the latest collapse is not yet known.

#BREAKING: a 2nd rock slide at #Yosemite. Bigger than yesterday. #NBC Photog says he’s pulling people from rubble. pic.twitter.com/usqoueynXl

— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) September 28, 2017

 The second collapse at Yosemite is said to have been 'ten times bigger than the first'

Facebook/Peter Zabrok
The second collapse at Yosemite is said to have been ‘ten times bigger than the first’
 Peter Zabrok was scaling the popular rock face with climbing partners Ryan Sheridan from Yosemite and Irishman Patrick Mcredmond when the first rockslide hit

Facebook/Peter Zabrok
Peter Zabrok was scaling the popular rock face with climbing partners Ryan Sheridan from Yosemite and Irishman Patrick Mcredmond when the first rockslide hit
Rescue helicopter flies over scene of El Capitan rock fall tragedy at Yosemite National Park

Journalists reporting from the scene on the first collapse are reportedly helping those injured by the second fall.

This is the first death from a rock fall in the park in 18 years when another climber was killed, according to the parks service.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are in contact with the local authorities and providing assistance to both families at this very difficult time.”

One dead and one injured after rocks ‘the size of an apartment building’ tear off of famous El Capitan mountain and bury climbers

Witnesses described seeing a piece of granite “the size of an apartment building” fall from the mountain.

“I saw a piece of rock at least 100 feet by 100 feet suddenly just come peeling off the wall with no warning,” said Canadian climber Peter Zabrok, 57, who was scaling El Capitan and just above the rock fall.

Zabrok said he has climbed El Capitan dozens of times and has “never seen anything like this”.

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