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Second rockfall at El Capitan forces road closure in Yosemite National Park

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
September 28, 2017, 7:57:26 PM EDT

At least one person has died due to a rockfall in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday afternoon.

“A rockfall of undetermined size occurred in Yosemite National Park this afternoon at about 1:55 p.m. PDT this afternoon. The rockfall was reported to have happened from El Capitan, a granite monolith above Yosemite Valley,” Yosemite National Park said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

The park stated that at least one person died and another person was seriously injured during the rockfall. This was the first rockfall-related fatality in the park since 1999.

Another rockfall occurred on Thursday afternoon, causing a road closure in Yosemite Valley. This new rockfall injured hikers and visitors in the area, ABC7 reported.

A climber in Yosemite National Park said that Thursday's rock slide was easily “three times the size” of Wednesday's, the Associated Press reported.

Thursday's rockfall lead to a road closure in Yosemite Valley, the park said on Twitter.

It is still unclear at this time what caused the rockfalls to occur.

Yosemite rockfall sep 27

A photo of the rockfall at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, as seen from Glacier Point around 1:52 p.m. PDT on Wednesday. (Photo/Twitter user @JonKameen)

El Capitan is a popular rock formation in Yosemite for people to climb, especially during this time of year.

The victims on Wednesday were a couple visiting the park to rock climb, but were not climbing at the time of the initial rockfall, Yosemite National Park said on Thursday.

The release point of Wednesday's rockfall appeared to be near the "Waterfall Route," according to the park. The park has remained open for visitors despite the rockfalls.

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