Cliff Collapse In Encinitas Kills Three
When Friday afternoons go tragically wrong.
It was supposed to just be a chill afternoon at the beach in Encinitas, but on Friday a cliff collapsed at the bucolic Southern California beach town, killing three people and injuring two others.
At approximately 3:00 pm near Stone Steps Beach, a large portion of the cliff above the beach sheered off. Landing feet from a lifeguard tower, one person was pronounced dead on the scene. Two others succumbed to their injuries at the hospital. One more individual remains in the hospital. Another victim was treated on the scene for minor injuries.
The identities of the victims have not been released at this time.
Beachgoers immediately began to try and dig victims out with their bare hands after the collapse before lifeguards, firefighters, paramedics and other rescue personnel responded to the scene. After several hours rescue and recovery efforts were forced to halt fear of another cliff collapse. Dogs were brought in to continue the search.
Local authorities have closed the stretch of coast from Ponto Beach in Carlsbad to the area south of Grandview Beach. It’s a popular surf zone and the annual Stone Steps contest has been a source of mayhem and good times since the mid ’70s.
“We are devastated by the tragedy today and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We stand ready to help in any way possible. Our engineers and the public safety team are diligently working to assess bluff conditions,” read a statement by Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear released on Friday.
The unstable bluff and cliffs around Neptune Ave. have long been problematic. There was another collapse nearby back in 2010. Issues between homeowners, the City and the California Coastal Commission have been tied up in court for years. Sadly, after all this time, the result is three fatalities.
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