Lightning strike kills Australian man hiking in Grand Canyon


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The Independent US

An Australian man was killed by what was believed to be a lightning strike while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park, a park official said.

Jonathan Crowden of Alfredton had been hiking alone late on Sunday afternoon before his body was found about 1 mile (1.6 km) down the South Kaibab Trail, said park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski.

She said paramedics were sent to the area near Ooo-Aah Point at about 4pm local time, after a witness called the canyon’s communication centre to report that a man had possibly been struck by lightning.

Efforts to resuscitate the 21-year-old were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

The National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner are investigating the death.

The incident marks the eighth confirmed death at the park this year. On 28 August a 51-year-old Arizona man fell to his death while hiking near the Colorado River.

The canyon is one of the world’s most frequented outdoor tourist venues and it attracted more than 4.7 million visitors in 2014.