Flash flood at Ari­zona swim­ming hole kills 9

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS TONTO NA­TIONAL FOR­EST, ARIZ. —

Nine peo­ple died and a 13-year-old boy was still miss­ing Sun­day af­ter a fu­ri­ous flash flood tore through a group of fam­ily and friends cool­ing off in a creek in the Tonto Na­tional For­est in Ari­zona.

Gila County Sher­iff’s De­tec­tive David Hor­nung told The As­so­ci­ated Press that the group from the Phoenix and Flagstaff ar­eas had met up for a day trip along the pop­u­lar Cold Springs swim­ming hole near Payson in cen­tral Ari­zona and were play­ing in the wa­ter Satur­day af­ter­noon when muddy flood wa­ters came roar­ing down the canyon.

The group had set out chairs to lounge on a warm sum­mer day when kilo­me­tres up­stream an in­tense thun­der­storm dumped heavy rain­fall on the moun­tain.

Search and res­cue crews, in­clud­ing 40 peo­ple on foot and oth­ers in a he­li­copter, re­cov­ered the bod­ies of five chil­dren and four adults, some as far as three kilo­me­tres down the river.

The vic­tims ranged in age from a 60-year-old woman to a two-yearold girl. Au­thor­i­ties did not iden­tify them. Four oth­ers were res­cued Satur­day and taken to Ban­ner hos­pi­tal in nearby Payson for treat­ment for hy­pother­mia.

Res­cuers got to the four vic­tims quickly af­ter the crew heard their cries while they were nearby help­ing an in­jured hiker.

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