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15-year-old falls 30 ft down Chatsworth cliff

April 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 15-year-old boy who was hiking with his family in the dark when he fell down a cliff was in fair condition Saturday night at a hospital following a dramatic rescue by two air ambulance helicopters, a city fire official said. The teenager fell "at least 30 feet down a sheer cliff" about 7:30 p.m. on the east side of Stoney Point Park, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

Although there were no obvious injuries, such as bleeding or broken bones, the fire department decided to become involved because of the nature of the accident, Humphrey said.

The accident location was precarious and "more than a half-mile off the road," Humphrey said.

One group of rescuers escorted the family out of the park using flashlights, while the teen was rescued by a coordinated effort involving two fire department helicopters, Humphrey said.

One helicopter lowered a medic to the injured hiker using a cable, then flew off as the other helicopter circled the scene, shining a 30-million candlepower floodlight over the area while the medic worked to stabilize and secure the boy.

Once the medic on the ground strapped the teen onto a gurney, the first helicopter returned, lowered the cable and picked up both the injured hiker and the medic, flying them to Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, Humphrey said.

The youth was said to be in "fair" condition and his family was with him at the hospital, Humphrey said. His injuries did not appear to be life- threatening.