Published June 09, 2012
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – An 18-year-old woman plunged hundreds of feet to her death on her first day working at Yellowstone National Park.
The unidentified woman was hiking with three people along the edge of the popular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on Thursday evening when she walked off the trail at Inspiration Point, the Yellowstone National Park Service (NPS) said.
As the teenager, who had started working for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private concessions firm at the park, explored the loose rock headland it "quickly gave way underneath her," according to a statement.
Park authorities received a 911 call from one of the other hikers at 5:44pm local time and sent a rescue team of Yellowstone Rangers and a Teton Interagency helicopter to search the area.
The rescue team spotted her body lying motionless about 400 feet below the canyon's north rim and "concluded that she had sustained non-survivable injuries," the NPS said.
Rescuers were forced to abandon their mission to retrieve the woman's body as the light faded Thursday. They returned Friday and successfully recovered her body using a short-haul helicopter around noon local time.
"Considering the number of people who visit Yellowstone every year, we have thankfully had very few incidents," chief officer of public affairs Al Nash told FoxNews.com, adding that the death is, "a tragedy."
Newscore contributed to this report.