1. ITV Report

Welsh climber killed by rock fall in Yosemite National Park named as Andrew Foster

Credit: Instagram

A British climber who was crushed to death by falling rocks at Yosemite National Park has been named as Andrew Foster from Wales.

Mr Foster, 32, was trapped when more than 1,000 tonnes of rock fell from the face of the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the park confirmed Mr Foster's identity, while his wife Lucy - who was also hiking - was injured and remains in hospital.

The pair, found with climbing equipment, are believed to have been scouting out the ascent from a trail when a "sheet" of granite around 40 metres by 20 metres plummeted from a height of 200 metres.

Credit: AP

Speaking on Thursday, Scott Gediman, from the park, said: "With all the craziness I don't exactly know where they were going but chances are they were going up.

"From what I understand they were buried under rock... They were crushed by falling rocks."

He could not be specific about their injuries but said they were "consistent with tonnes of granite falling on you".

They are the only known casualties despite being with a group of other climbers when the series of collapses struck, but a search is ongoing.

One witness, Mike Kane, tweeted that the collapse was "very loud", adding it was a "miracle more (were) not hurt".

Meanwhile, a second rockfall at the site on Thursday left one person injured who was airlifted to hospital.

Mr Foster's death is the first fatality from a rock fall in the park in four years when another climber was killed, according to the parks service.

Prior to that, the last climber to die from a similar accident was in 1999.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are in contact with the local authorities and providing assistance to both families at this very difficult time."

The couple were active members of Cardiff University Mountaineering Club.

Today a spokesperson for Cardiff University Students’ Unionsaid: “Both took on leadership roles within the club, teaching beginners to climb and playing a key role in the fabric of the club over a number of years.

"Former Athletic Union President, Olly Birrell, remembers Andy as one of the first to ever teach him to climb and welcomed him into the club in his first week at university.

"Andy was a big character in the club. He was a seasoned climber who introduced many, many Cardiff students into the great sport of mountaineering. He always had an epic story to share, a new adventurous challenge ahead, and he never failed to make his friends laugh. He’ll be truly missed by the generations of climbers he has influenced and encouraged.

"We would like to extend our condolences to Lucy and to Andy’s family and friends. We’re sending our best wishes to Lucy and hope that she is able to make good and speedy recovery.”

A Cardiff University spokesperson added: “We are saddened to hear of this tragic accident involving two of our alumni. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the couple’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

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