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article imageVernal Falls claims three hikers in Yosemite (updated)

By Gar Swaffar     Jul 19, 2011 in Environment
Since the beginning of published accounts in 1920, there have been at least 13 hikers who have been swept over the edge of Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park. Three hikers have gone missing in the area, according to media reports.
Vernal Falls in Yosemite is 317 feet from the top of the falls to the pool below.
Today, several hikers have been reportedly been swept over the edge.
This would be the 14th, 15th and 16th reported hikers lost at Vernal Falls since 1920. The area surrounding the falls at both the top and at the bottom is extremely slippery from the mist of the falls, especially this year with the deep snow pack and snow melt occurring. So far this year, eight hikers have been lost in the Merced River and multiple falls.
As Digital Journal previously reported, two hikers were also recently lost after being swept off a bridge.
As noted in an LA Times report, George Penca has still not been located since last being seen at the top of Upper Yosemite Falls while hiking with his church group on June 17 of this year.
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Update 7-20-2011 1330 PST
It is now reported that there were indeed more than a single hiker who fell to their deaths yesterday at Vernal Falls.
Three hikers from a group of family and friends plunged the 317 feet. The hikers were: David Hormiz, 22, of Modesto, Ninos Yacoub, 27, of Turlock, and Ramina Badal, 21.
The three were reportedly posing for a picture when the incident occurred with such tragic results.
While there are both guardrails and warning signs posted at the Vernal Falls trailhead, the three who fell had crossed the guardrail and were on the rocks which are dangerous even in lower and slower flow years.
This year has been both especially treacherous and the views magnificent due to the heavy snow pack and snow melt .
More about Yosemite, vernal falls, National park, Lost hikers, merced river
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