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Rockslide near the Dead Sea in Israel kills 5-year-old boy and injures 6 others

Inspectors from Israel's Nature and Parks Authority assess the site of a rockslide, with the loose stones seen at left, that took place in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, a popular tourist site in Israel, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. An avalanche of rock tumbled down a hillside near the Dead Sea, Israeli medics said, injuring several people, including children. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

JERUSALEM (AP) — An avalanche of rocks tumbled down a hillside onto a hiking trail near the Dead Sea in Israel on Thursday, trapping many people, killing a 5-year-old boy and injuring at least six others, medics said.

The volunteer emergency medical service United Hatzalah said rescue teams recovered numerous people who were trapped under the rubble. Israeli military helicopters airlifted the victims to nearby hospitals.

Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue service said the victims ranged from 4 to 40 years old, including the boy who was found unconscious and could not be resuscitated. A 4-year-old girl was in moderate condition and others were less seriously injured.

Medics said the situation was worsened by the fact that the site of the landslide was difficult to reach.

The rockslide took place in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve on the western shore of the Dead Sea, a popular tourist site.

It was not immediately clear what caused the rockslide. They typically occur when torrential rains or earthquakes create fissures in a rocky hillside.