9 drown in flash flood
Nine people, including five children, were killed and a 13-year-old boy was missing after a furious flash flood tore through a group of relatives and friends cooling off in a creek in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.
The group, from the Phoenix and Flagstaff areas, had met up for a daytrip to the popular Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson and was playing in the creek Saturday afternoon when muddy floodwaters came roaring down the canyon, Gila County sheriff ’s Detective David Hornung said.
They had set out chairs on a hot summer day when, miles 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.
The victims ranged in age from a 60-year-old woman to a 2-year-old girl. Authorities did not identify them.
Four others were rescued and taken to Banner Hospital in Payson for treatment for hypothermia. Rescuers got to the survivors quickly after the crew heard their cries while helping an injured hiker.
Hornung said the treacherously swift waters gushed for about 10 minutes before receding in the narrow canyon. He estimated floodwaters reached 6 feet high and 40 feet wide.