Police and first responders are on scene at the bluffs near the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. Guy Bertrand photo

Trail police and rescue teams remain at scene of climbing accident

Trail RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says rocks too unstable for rescuers and police to go in

Update 3 p.m.

Police and search teams remained high on the mountain above Trail hospital late Wednesday after a climber fell when a rock bluff gave way that morning.

At press time the person was not yet identified.

Trail RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid was near the accident site with search and rescue teams when the Trail Times reached him by cell phone at 2:30 p.m.

“Geo-engineers are trying to make sure we don’t have another rock slide before we go in,” he said.

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Update 11:50 a.m.

HETS rescue – or helicopter long line rescue – has been called in.

Helicopter long line rescue systems can offer rapid rescue response and reduced risk exposure over traditional land rescue based techniques in remote, high angle terrain or difficult to access work sites.

More to come …

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Update 11:17 a.m.

Search and Rescue teams from Castlegar, Rossland, South Columbia and Grand Forks are responding.

“Rope members are responding to a possible fallen climber up by the Trail Hospital,” confirmed Mike Hudson from South Columbia. “Operation is underway.”

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First responders are attempting to extract a person from the bluffs above the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.

A 9-1-1 call came in Wednesday morning stating someone had witnessed a person fall several metres from a rock face above the hospital.

Police and Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue were on scene.

As responders located the person, more first responders made the steep ascent with a stretcher to evacuate the injured person.

No reports on the condition of the climber.

A witness said she was leaving the hospital and noticed a cloud of dust and some rocks falling near the graffiti-covered face of the bluffs.

That’s when the witness saw someone “roped in and chipping away at rocks.”

The witness said then a larger rock fell and took the climber down to a plateau above the hospital’s helipad.

More to come …

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