3 people killed and 2 injured after a beach bluff collapses in Encinitas: “I can’t imagine being at the beach and your life changing in the blink of an eye.”
Beach bluff collapses in Encinitas
On Friday, an oceanfront bluff at Grandview beach collapsed in Encinitas. The collapse happened around 2:55PM according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Ted Greenawald.
Beach goers and police suspect that children were involved in the incident. However, during a news conference on Friday, the deputies reported that none of the victims were children.
Buries people alive
Three people were killed after the collapse on Friday. One woman died at the scene while the other two were rushed to the hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries.
The bluff was located near the Grandview Beach staircase below the South Ponto State Beach and 1700 block away Neptune Avenue. The area seemed populated with the surfers, locals and people on holiday.
There were two more people involved in the incident however, their condition is not life threatening according to ABC10News San Diego.
Captain Larry Giles, a life guard at the beach described the incident, “This is a naturally eroding coastline. There’s really no rhyme or reason, but that’s what it does naturally… This is what it does, and this is how are beaches are actually partially made. It actually has these failures.”
“It was horrifying”
One person who arrived at the beach moments after the horrific incident told 10News that there were people trying to clear the sand and rocks to find anyone who was trapped due to the collapse.
The eye witness said, “It’s just horrifying that the people underneath were there in the moment, Let’s just hope for the people.”
In addition, Jackie Benedict, a citizen of the area told NBC7 San Diego, “It was horrible. I can’t imagine being at the beach and your life changing in the blink of an eye.”
Life guards and experts concerned
Lifeguard Giles stated, “This will continue to the point where it becomes unsafe for teams to get in there and work.”
Soil experts agreed with Giles and suspected another potential collapse. However, they declared the homes on the cliffs were not at risk.
“No one woke up thinking this would happen”
Lifeguards closed the beach area from Leucadia-Carlsbad border while attempting to rescue the victims.
During the rescue, the deputy stated, “No one woke up thinking this would happen. We’re going to do the best we can to get through this.”
Mike Basset, a resident stated that the water waved were unusual, “There was probably two feet of water around the lifeguard station. It was weird to see the waves pounding on the bluff.”
Adam Young, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher, explained that the strong waves and rainfall definitely contributed to the cliff collapsing.
“It’s usually a combination of processes that could be going on for years,” Young said.
The area remains closed until further notice.