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.
Update 07/03/13 13:00: Several people were injured this morning at Camp Tawonga outside of Yosemite National Park.
Update 07/03/13 12:00: Reports of 1 dead and 20 injured, 4 airlifted from the scene. #CampTawonga Spokesperson says "no children are among the injured" after tree falls
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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.
Camp Tawonga is a Jewish based camp for children.
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