One dead and two critically injured falling from California cliff

One dead and two critically injured falling from California cliff
The group of friends went to the cliff on Sunday night

A man was found dead and two women sustained serious injuries after four people fell off a cliff in southern California during the small hours of Monday.

The person who died has been identified as a 25-year-old man from Los Angeles. The two women were airlifted from the beach and rushed to the hospital in a critical condition, officials said.

The fourth person managed to climb back up after sustaining minor injuries and alerted a passing officer at about 4.30am local time, said Steve Barber from the Palos Verdes Estates police department.

Vincent Avila of Los Angeles was hospitalised with broken ribs and minor kidney damage.

According to Mr Avila’s mother, the group of four friends went to the cliffs on Sunday night to spend some time. When one of the women went to relieve herself, she slipped and fell and the others also slipped while searching for her from the edge, she told KNBC-TV.

The group reportedly fell 300 feet into the water. Multiple fire department vehicles and helicopters were pressed into the rescue operation.

Palos Verdes Estates is located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula at the southern end of Los Angeles County.

“There’s no indication at this point that this was anything other than an accident,” Mr Barber said.

Los Angeles County fire department captain Kelsey Lynch described the area as “extremely dangerous”.

“It’s very slippery … This is very loose soil all over Palos Verdes. So, it’s very possible that the ground gave way,” Lynch told KTLA.

Residents of the area lamented how they had appealed for warning signs and fencing but nothing was ever installed. “You have a rescue all the time. People go down the trails and they can’t come back up because they twist their ankle or something …But people falling off the cliff, that’s very rare,” said Rakesh Sharma, a resident of the area.