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Man killed by rock dislodged by climbing partner in US

Felix Joseph Kiernan, 28, from London

A London man has been killed in a rock climbing accident in Yosemite National Park, California.

Felix Joseph Kiernan, 28, from London, was climbing on the East Buttress of El Capitan, a popular climbing route in Yosemite Valley, when he was struck by a rock at around 2.00pm on Sunday.

The dislodged rock is said to have fallen 150ft before hitting Mr Kiernan Credit: Elodie Saracco

Mr Kiernan was about 600 feet (180m) up the route when a loose block was dislodged by his climbing partner.

The block, estimated to be one foot (0.3m) by two feet (0.6m), fell approximately 150 feet (45m) before striking Mr Kiernan and causing fatal injuries.

British climber killed by falling rock at Yosemite

A British man has been killed after being struck by a falling rock during a climbing expedition in Yosemite national park in the US state of California.

Felix Joesph Kiernan was climbing on the East Buttress of El Capitan, when he was struck by a rock which had fallen approximately 150 feet.

The 28-year-old was 600 feet up the climbing route when the incident occurred on Sunday.

Felix Joseph Kiernan was struck by a rock as he was climbing the popular route Credit: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Park rangers reached Mr Kiernan, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the death of a British national and we are providing consular assistance to the family."

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Virus carrying mice were nesting in cabin walls

Park chiefs said the double-walled design of the affected cabins made it easy for mice to nest between the walls. The disease is carried in the faeces, urine and saliva of deer mice and other rodents and carried on airborne aerosol particles and dust.

The 91 insulated canvas cabins in the century-old Curry Village are new to the park, built in 2009 to replace some that had been closed or damaged after parts of Curry Village, which sits below the 3,000ft Glacier Point promontory, were determined to be in a rock-fall hazard zone.

Park staff found evidence of mouse nests in the insulation while taking them apart for cleaning.

Yosemite victims stayed at the park in June and July

Up to 10,000 people who stayed in cabins at Yosemite National Park in California may have been exposed to a deadly mouse-borne virus that has killed two people.

  • The illness that begins as flu-like symptoms can take six weeks to incubate before rapid acute respiratory and organ failure.
  • There is no cure and anyone exhibiting the symptoms must be admitted to hospital. More than 36% of people who contract the rare illness will die from it.

All of the victims confirmed so far stayed in the plush Signature tent cabins in the California park's historic Curry Village section between mid-June and early July.

Thousands 'exposed to deadly virus at Yosemite'

Up to 10,000 people who stayed in lodging cabins at Yosemite National Park in California may have been exposed to a deadly mouse-borne virus that has killed two people.

Park concessionaire Delaware North sent letters and emails this week to nearly 3,000 people who reserved the insulated Signature cabins between June and August, warning them that they might have been exposed.

Yosemite National Park in California. Credit: Reuters

The cabins hold up to four people and park spokesman Scott Gediman said that could mean up to 7,000 more visitors may have been exposed to the virus that so far has killed two people and made four others ill.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 calls a day are coming into the national park as visitors frightened about the growing outbreak hantavirus pulmonary syndrome call seeking answers.

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