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Woman dies in over-the-rim fall inside Grand Canyon National Park

Tuesday's death is the second fatal fall inside the park this year, and the third in the Grand Canyon area.

A woman fell to her death at Grand Canyon National Park on Tuesday. She is the second person to die after falling over the canyon's rim inside the park this year, the park said.

Park rangers responded just after 1 p.m. to a report that someone needed help at a rocky point west of Pipe Creek Vista, but “before a rescue effort could be undertaken, the person fell,” the park said in a statement.

The National Park Service on Wednesday identified the woman as Cynthia Ackley, 69, of Peoria, Arizona. Officials had previously said the woman was 70. Her body was recovered approximately 200 feet below the rim, park officials have said.

It’s the third falling death in the Grand Canyon area in recent weeks, although one of those deaths occurred at Grand Canyon West, which is on the Hualapai reservation outside the national park.

Messages left with numbers that might be associated with Ackley’s family were not immediately returned Wednesday.

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On April 3, a 67-year-old man fell over the rim east of Yavapai Geology Museum within park boundaries, which was the first over-the-edge death in the park this year. His body was found around 400 feet below the rim, the park has said.

A man from Hong Kong visiting the Hualapai reservation outside the park fell March 28 while trying to take pictures, officials have said.

On March 26, a person died inside the park near the South Rim, but that was not a fall, and the death is still under investigation, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Vanessa Ceja said.

Tuesday's accident was the fifth death inside the park this year, Ceja said. Last year, 17 people died inside Grand Canyon National Park, she said.

The majority of deaths in Grand Canyon National Park are heat-related, Ceja said.

"It's also a very drastic environment for a lot of people," said Ceja, who noted that the park encourages visitors to be aware of their actions.

The park said in a statement Tuesday that visitors should stay on designated trails and walkways, always keep a safe distance from the edge of the rim and stay behind railings and fences at overlooks.

Tuesday’s death is being considered an accident, Ceja said.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most-visited of the national parks, and in 2018 there were more than 6 million recreational visits.