13-year-old boy survives deadly fall at Grand Canyon

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A general view shows the Grand Canyon from Yaki Point lookout at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on August 8, 2023.—AFP
A general view shows the Grand Canyon from Yaki Point lookout at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on August 8, 2023.—AFP 

Wyatt Kauffman, 13, defied the odds by surviving a nearly 100ft (30m) fall at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.

The incident occurred when he slipped and fell off a ledge at the North Rim, a popular tourist destination. 

Prompt efforts took approximately two hours, during which rescue teams carefully brought him to safety.

Wyatt Kauffman suffered severe injuries, including nine broken vertebrae, a ruptured spleen, a broken hand, and a collapsed lung. 

Fortunately, he has since been discharged from the hospital.

In an interview with a local television station, Wyatt shared that the fall occurred as he moved aside for people taking photographs. 

He had been squatting down and gripping a rock with one hand when he lost his balance and started to tumble.

Recalling the incident, Wyatt stated, “After the fall, I don’t remember anything after that. I just remember somewhat waking up and being in the back of an ambulance and a helicopter and getting on a plane and getting here.”

The rescue operation involved numerous emergency workers, with a team from the Grand Canyon National Park playing a pivotal role. 

Despite the challenging terrain, the team successfully rappelled down a cliff to rescue Wyatt, opting against a helicopter rescue due to the landscape’s complexity.

Wyatt’s father, Brian Kauffman, expressed profound gratitude for the rescue efforts, saying, “We’re extremely grateful for the work of everyone. We’re just lucky we’re bringing our kid home in a car in the front seat instead of in a box.” 



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