Six Killed in Hawaii Landslide
May. 10, 1999
HONOLULU (AP) _ A large landslide at Sacred Falls State Park killed six people and injured more than 50 others Sunday.
The landslide in the popular hiking area occurred around 2:30 p.m. near the pool at the base of the waterfall in the Koolau Mountains, about 30 miles north of Honolulu on the northeast side of the island of Oahu.
Paul Takamiya, plans and operations officer at Oahu Civil Defense, confirmed the deaths but had no details. He said 27 of the injured were taken to four hospitals.
Witnesses told television station KHON they heard a low rumbling sound, then saw boulders and trees toppling over.
``There was a lady standing in the middle of the rock clearing, and I guess she knew what it was,'' said injured hiker Stephen Michael. ``She said to run, get out of here. And everybody started taking off. And that's when the rocks started falling.''
``It was really hard to see coming out of there,'' said Darren Fredricks of Florida. ``You just wanted to grab who you could and run.''
Emergency crews used four-wheel drive vehicles to reach the scene of the slide, 3 miles from the trailhead.
One man was in critical condition and three women were in guarded to fair condition among seven people taken to The Queen's Medical Center, said Cheryl Utendale, the hospital's administrative coordinator. She would give no more information.
Five or six of the 15 to 20 people taken to Kahuku Hospital were treated and released, said Carol Gonzales, the hospital's director of nursing. Of the rest, some were to be transferred and some were still being evaluated Sunday evening, she said.
Officials of the other hospitals could not immediately be reached.