Wednesday 11 September 2013

Arizona man injured in rockfall on Mount Elden, north of Flagstaff.

A twenty-seven-year-old Phoenix man is being treated for severe crush injuries to his legs and pelvis after being hit by a 30 tonne boulder on Mount Elden, on Tuesday 10 September 2013, Arizona, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. The man was one of a team of five who had come to carry out maintenance work on radio masts on the mountain, and who were trying to clear fallen rocks from the Elden Lookout Road when they were hit by a fresh rockfall. The man's colleagues were able to extract him before the emergency services arrive, he was then ferried down the mountain in a four wheel drive vehicle, (it was impossible to land a helicopter at the site), then by ambulance to Flagstaff Medical Center

Boulders on the Elden Lookout Road following the 10 September 2013 rockfall. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident follows heavy rainfall in the area, that has caused a string of flash-floods, rockfalls and landslides in the area, leading to a number of road closures. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure overcomes the sediments cohesion and allows it to flow downhill. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.

The location of Mount Elden. Google Maps.

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