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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

YNP: MCI SAR in progress - Yosemite Nat'l Park Children trapped after tree falls through dining hall at Camp Tawonga

Statement from the Executive Director of Camp Tawonga:

Annais Rittenberg, a beloved member of the Camp Tawonga staff, died this morning when a tree spontaneously fell at the campfire circle outside of the dining hall.

Four other adult staff were injured and taken to local hospitals and are all doing well: Lizzie Moore, Cara Sheedy, Juliet Ulibarri, and Anya Schultz. All of their families have been contacted.

The campers were inside the Dining Hall having breakfast when the incident occurred and no child was injured. Emergency responders arrived within minutes, coming from Yosemite, Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Emergency Services. 

Camp Director Jamie Simon immediately engaged our own Incident Command System to ensure that our children and staff remain safe, both physically and emotionally. The campers are doing well and are participating in camp activities away from the scene. Our on-site staff therapists are working closely with First Responder grief experts to help care for our community in this difficult time.

Part of the falling tree struck a PG&E power line, temporarily interrupting some of our electrical service. Repairs are currently underway and our generators are providing all necessary power.

This information has been verified by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. You may hear other reports, by media or rumor, but rest assured that this is a true and accurate report.

We will send you an email update by 6:00 PM this evening with further information. Please help us continue to remain focused on the children by not calling or emailing us at this time.

Sincerely,

Ken Kramarz
Executive Director

Update 07/03/13 13:00 Several people were injured this morning at Camp Tawonga outside of Yosemite National Park.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office received a call at 8:25am stating that a tree had fallen and people were injured. The Sheriff's Office has released the following statement,"Emergency personnel responded and found four adult staff members who were injured and taken to area hospitals. No children were injured, and all are accounted for. There is one adult staff member who is unaccounted for. Additional information will be forthcoming."

Update 07/03/13 12:00Reports of 1 dead and 20 injured, 4 airlifted from the scene.  Spokesperson says "no children are among the injured" after tree falls
in Tuolumne County.
Update 07/03/13 10:48: CAL FIRE IS ON SCENE WITH A TREE DOWN WITH 20 PEOPLE INJURED. MASS CASUALTY INCIDENT DECLARED.

 Groveland, CA -- A tree has reportedly fallen through a dining hall at Camp Tawonga, located just outside of Yosemite National Park.
Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Sgt. Jim Oliver reports that some children were trapped underneath the tree, and officials are working to get them out. It is not immediately known if any of the children have been injured.
Location: Camp Tawonga is a Jewish based camp for children. It is located at 31201 Mather Road.
Camp Tawonga is a Jewish based camp for children. 


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31201 Mather Road. map

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