Dead, Man Missing in Flash Flood at Arizona Swimming Hole

Rebecca Barbier
Julho 17, 2017

At least nine people were killed Saturday after flash flooding swept through Tonto National Forest in Arizona, authorities said.

A group of 14 people were caught in the flood at the swimming hole at Cold Springs in Tonto National Forest Saturday afternoon, north of Phoenix, sheriff's officials said.

Some of the bodies have been recovered two miles down river - and about a dozen other people are thought to be still missing, including a 13-year-old boy.

Gila County sheriff J Adam Shepherd said crews were still searching the missing people.

The children who died ranged in age from 2 to 17 and the adults from 24 to 60, Hornung said.

The four family members who were rescued have all been treated and released from the hospital.

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The thunderstorm hit about eight miles upstream of the swimming hole along Ellison Creek.

"They had no warning", Sattelmaier told the Associated Press. "We could hear the roaring of the flash flood in the distance, and it was something to behold". Had they been swept downstream, they would have been sent over a 20-foot waterfall, Alexander said. In this case, there were thunderstorms in the area as predicted, but there was no rain where the people were swimming.

The flooding happened during storm season.

"We were on this trail, and 10 minutes into the trail, we started seeing water flooding down, just a lot of water coming down", said Mandisa Alexander. The group - comprised of hikers in their 40s and 50s - had set out on their trek hours before a flash flood warning prompted park officials to close the canyons. "We had some concerns". Visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather, he said. The group was trapped by floodwaters in a popular "slot" canyon that was as narrow as a window in some spots and several hundred feet deep.

Coto said she's sending prayers to all the family and friends of the victims.

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