A woman was killed and four other people were injured when an ocean bluff collapsed Friday onto Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas, California, police said.
The bluff fell just before 3 p.m. local time Friday. Two people might still have been trapped under the debris as of 4:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Times. Two of the four people known to be injured were in critical condition, while the other two had minor injuries, according to police.
The portion of the sea cliff that fell was 30 by 25 feet, officials said.
Grandview Surf Beach, located in the community of Leucadia north of San Diego, has steep sea cliffs and a long staircase providing access to the beach.
Rescue crews were using search dogs to locate anyone who may still be under the collapsed bluff, CBS News Team 8 reported.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Ted Greenawald told the news station that the bluff may have fallen on five people.
Geologist Pat Abbott told ABC 10 that the bluff was made of ocean sand aged for millions of years into a “solid, heavy mass.”
The bluff was likely worn down naturally by waves hitting the cliffs, water falling on the rocks and gravity, causing it to erode and collapse, according to Abbott.
Rebecca Kowalczyk, 30, was killed by a similar bluff collapse in Encinitas in 2000, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In that incident, Kowalczyk, 30, was watching her husband surf when a section of the bluff fell on her.
This article has been updated with information about a bluff collapse in 2000.
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