9 dead and one missing in flash flood at Arizona swimming hole

9 dead and one missing in flash flood at Arizona swimming hole

9 dead and one missing in flash flood at Arizona swimming hole

9 dead and one missing in flash flood at Arizona swimming hole

People were dead, including six children, and a man missing after a flood lit by a popular swimming hole in Arizona Saturday afternoon.

The fatal incident at Cold Springs swimming hole in Tonto National Forest followed heavy rains that caused storms and warnings interesting National Weather Service in areas marked by a recent forest fire.

Officials suspended their search Sunday night, but expected to resume Monday.

Gila County Sheriff’s Office first received a 911 call on a search and rescue operation in the pool glass at 3:20 p.m. Saturday, according to the department’s website.

Sheriff’s sergeant. David Hornung said Sunday that the dead were members of a family that had gathered for the day.

“From what I understand, they were brothers and sisters, nephews and cousins. It was a large group of people who enjoyed swimming in the river and playing in the water,” he said.

The deceased children ranged from 2 to 17 years old and adults aged 24 to 60, Hornung said.

The victims, he said, were probably taken without warning because of the flood.

“It was not even raining where these people were,” he said. “Quick flood came from above.”

Parents told the Arizona Republic newspaper that the victims were members of a Phoenix family who had gone to the natural pool to celebrate their birthday. The newspaper said that among the dead were two mothers and their children, a grandmother and two teenagers. The husband of one of the dead women was still missing, the newspaper reported.

The weather service issued a flood warning Saturday afternoon, but the area is quite remote, Hornung said.

“People who were there probably did not have cell phone service. There was no real way to warn of the possibility of flooding,” he said.

In total, 14 people were initially reported missing, but four were rescued within an hour of the incident, Hornung said.

The rescue was aided by the fact that a search and rescue team was deployed nearby to help a hiker who had suffered an allergic reaction.

“When they finished, they heard people screaming for help, and they went to the river and found them,” Hornung said. “If they were not there, I would have to wait an hour before the search and rescue came.”

The swimming hole is popular with tourists and locals, a place where families often gather to escape the heat, said Chris Fabri Phoenix, who maintains a website in the Arizona pools and visits cool springs for more than Two decades. The pool hole is located north of Payson, Arizona.

A video taken by a witness, Disa Alexander, shortly after the flood and shown by various media outlets, showed a man in a tree with a baby while the water ran around him.

The site for local information Payson Roundup said that lifeguards had saved a father agrivait Saturday child.


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