16-year-old American tourist dies in fall while hiking in Switzerland, police say

Authorities are investigating after a 16-year-old American tourist died after falling during a hike with her best friend and her friend’s family in Switzerland, police said.

In a statement shared online Monday, police in Valais said the incident happened after the group went hiking around 10:30 a.m. Sunday on the “Gorges Mystérieuses” trail in western Switzerland, according to CBS News, NBC News and USA Today.

“For reasons that are still unclear, the friend fell about 100 meters (328 feet) down an embankment,” police said. Rescuers found the teenager dead in a riverbed below the hiking trail, according to officials.

The girl was not identified and American authorities did not immediately respond to requests for more information, NBC News and USA Today reported.

Police said officials also rescued the father of the girl’s best friend, who became stuck on a rock when he tried to reach the girl. The man was not injured, according to authorities.

The incident happened in the Gorges Mystérieuses à Tête Noire, or the Mysterious Gorges of Tête Noire, region. The country’s tourism organization said the trail in the area, created in 1884, “leads down into the forest via steep stone steps” and includes “120 metres (393 feet) of walkways and bridges” connecting to the bottom of the gorge. The area features “a series of idyllic waterfalls” and the Grotte aux Nymphes, or Fairy Grotto, “an authentic natural cathedral hidden under gigantic slabs of rock that lean one against the other.”

The area, near the border with France, is popular with international hikers, according to NBC News.

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