YOSEMITE (KRON) — A tree limb from an oak tree fell killing two children who were camping at the in Yosemite Valley, officials announced Friday.
A KRON 4 News crew is on the way to report the latest.
The incident happened at about approximately 5:00 a.m. Friday morning at the Upper Pines Campground. Officials say the tree limb fell and struck a tent in which the two minors were sleeping.
Park Rangers responded to the campground to provide medical assistance but both minors were deceased.
The names, ages, and places of residence of the victims are not being released. The incident remains under investigation.
Gediman says the limb fell from a black oak tree at about 5 a.m. Friday in the popular Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley, striking the tent where two minors were sleeping. Gediman said the campground is one of the parks most popular with a view of Half Dome. It was either near capacity or full when the tree limb fell.
Park Rangers were alerted to the fall by 911 calls from the park. They responded to the campground to provide medical assistance.
When rangers arrived, both were dead.
California is parched as the state enters the fourth year of drought and temperatures in the park have been hovering in the 80s and 90s over the last month, causing dry conditions. The National Weather Service reports the temperature was 97 degrees in the park Thursday.
But Park spokesman Scott Gediman told the Fresno Bee the drought had no connection to the falling tree. He said falling branches are common in the area.
But what led to the limb toppling remains under investigation, Gediman said.
Last month, an 85-foot-tall tree fell in a Pasadena, California park, injuring eight children. The tree had root problems, was leaning and may have absorbed a heavy load of water from a recent storm, according to an arborist’s report released Thursday. Some roots were girdled, meaning they were twisted around the main stem of the tree instead of spreading out.
In 2012, a Yosemite concession employee died when his tent cabin was hit by a falling limb.
“Our thoughts are with the families as they grieve this tragedy,” stated park Superintendent Don Neubacher.