Grand Canyon Fatalities

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A 67-year-old man died after falling off the edge of the Grand Canyon on Friday, April 5. He’s the third person in just eight days to die at the canyon after a man from Hong Kong slipped and fell while taking pictures at the Eagle Point observation. Another man died earlier that week, but not as a result of a fall, Grand Canyon National Park representatives said in a statement. Both the park service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner are conducting investigations into the deaths, which brought up a troubling statistic: About a dozen people die every year in the canyon due to falling, heatstroke, drowning, pre-existing medical conditions and steep elevation changes. While the deaths aren’t forensically related, they’ve led some people to wonder if new safety measures are needed. National parks are beloved in large part because tourists can explore them freely, unencumbered by excessive regulations that make it difficult to enjoy natural beauty, and without fences blocking their view. But these three tragedies provide a solid reason for park supervisors to review safety precautions and make sure there are up-to-date regulations that go along with a changing, selfie-loving culture.

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