SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rescue workers switched from search to recovery mode Friday night in their efforts to find a woman believed to be buried by a landslide near a San Francisco beach.
The search was called off about three hours after the landslide occurred on a beach below Fort Funston, and rescue workers began trying to recover her body, San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Jon Baxter said. He said the woman’s family had been notified.
He said the efforts to recover her body will be led by the U.S. Park Police because Fort Funston is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The victim was one of two women who were walking with a dog on the cliff above Fort Funston beach about 2:40 p.m., Baxter said. Witnesses said the two women each had a hand extended and touching the cliff when it gave way and they were swept to the beach in the landslide, Baxter said.
Fort Funston is set above steep sandstone cliffs about 200 feet above the San Francisco beach.
The former military installation and the beach below are popular off-leash areas for dog walkers.
Baxter said bystanders pulled one woman and the dog from the landslide and were furiously digging for the buried woman when rescue workers arrived. The rescued woman was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Baxter said.
Dozens of rescue workers dug with their hands and shovels through the five tons of dirt that fell.
Cadaver dogs trained to find human remains were also on their way to the scene about 10 miles south of the Golden Gate Bridge, he said.