3 hikers swept over waterfall in Yosemite

July 20, 2011 at 8:37 PM

MARIPOSA, Calif., July 20 (UPI) -- Rangers at Yosemite National Park searched Wednesday for three hikers from Northern California who apparently were swept over a waterfall the day before.

The three were missing and presumed dead after witnesses reported seeing two people climb over a guardrail and slip into the fast-moving water above the 320-foot Vernal Falls Tuesday.

Sacramento's KCRA-TV reported the National Parks Service reported three Californians were missing: Hormiz David, 22, and Ramina Badal, 21, both of Modesto, and Ninos Yacoub, 27, Turlock.

Yosemite National Park spokesman Scott Gediman said one of the victims slipped and fell, a second tried to save that person, and the third then tried to rescue the two, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Because of the search, rangers had closed the Mist Trail leading to the falls.

In the past decade, 10 people have died in an around Vernal Falls. Earlier this year, a man lost his life while hiking the Mist Trail, which was wet and slippery due to melting snow.

Rangers are in the process of collecting reports and photographs from witnesses to find out exactly what happened in the latest mishap.

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