Preschooler killed in Grand Canyon fall

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (AP) -- Authorities say a 4-year-old girl on a vacation trip to the Grand Canyon died Tuesday after slipping off the canyon edge and falling several hundred feet.

The girl fell near Mather Point just before noon and her father immediately scrambled down the cliffs to reach her, National Park Service spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said. 

He started CPR, and a Park Service ranger who rappelled down into the canyon also began trying to resuscitate the little girl. A second ranger was lowered to the site by helicopter and determined the child was dead, Oltrogge said.

The father suffered an ankle injury while trying to reach his daughter, officials said. He was taken out by forest officials.

The child's body was recovered from a spot about 400 to 500 feet below the rim, Oltrogge said. The area where she fell is a combination of sheer drops of 30 to 50 feet, then slopes leading to more dropoffs.

Oltrogge said the child's death is a reminder to everyone that extreme care needs to be taken at the canyon rim, especially with children.

"It's a tragic reminder of how a family vacation can turn tragic in an instant," Oltrogge said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

The girl is from Arizona; her name and hometown have yet to be released to the public.

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.