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Teenage boy plummets 100ft off Grand Canyon after dodging tourists’ photo

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A 13-year-old boy has miraculously survived a fall of nearly 30 metres at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, USA after he tried to get out of the way of some tourists taking a photo. 

Authorities said it took emergency crews two hours to rescue Wyatt Kauffman after he slipped on a cliff on Tuesday (August 8) and plunged from a deathly height at the Bright Angel Point trail.

The teenager was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital for treatment of nine broken vertebrae plus a ruptured spleen, a collapsed lung, a concussion, a broken hand and dislocated finger.

The teenager said that he had been “moving out of the way so other people could take a picture” when he suddenly slipped and fell. 

Rescue crews had to rappel down the cliff and get the injured boy out of the canyon in a basket.

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“I was up on the ledge and was moving out of the way so other people could take a picture,” Wyatt told Phoenix TV station KPNX from hospital. 

“I squatted down and was holding on to a rock. I only had one hand on it.

“It wasn’t that good of a grip. It was kind of pushing me back. I lost my grip and started to fall back.”

A frantic two-hour mission to rescue the teenager then ensued, with each minute he was left unconscious increasing his risk of death.

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A National Park Service search and rescue team set up a rope rescue down to the steep and narrow trail and eventually raised the teen safely to the rim.

Dozens of emergency workers were involved in the rescue.

“I just remember somewhat waking up and being in the back of an ambulance and a helicopter and getting on a plane and getting here” to the hospital, said Mr Kauffman, who lives in Casselton, North Dakota.

Brian Kauffman was in North Dakota when he heard about his son’s fall and rescue.

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“We’re extremely grateful for the work of everyone. Two hours is an eternity in a situation like that,” Brian Kauffman said.

He said his son was discharged from the hospital on Saturday (August 12) and was being driven home. The teenager and his mom were expected to reach Casselton on Tuesday (August 15). 

“We’re just lucky we’re bringing our kid home in a car in the front seat instead of in a box,” Brian Kauffman told KPNX.

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