Cliff Collapses at Torrey Pines

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Aerials show state rangers and San Diego County staging at the base of the slide.

    San Diego County sheriff's search and rescue dogs are helping to look for possible victims in  a Torrey Pines State Beach cliff collapse, deputies said.

    It’s unclear whether anyone is trapped underneath the rubble. The area immediately under and around the collapse has been closed off to the public.

    Lifeguards think the collapse happened sometime between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday. Garbage can sized chunks of debris were still falling off Thursday afternoon.

    It's an area that has a history of cliff collapses, falling rocks and tragedy. It's the second collapse in the same area in just three weeks.

    A 30-foot section of the cliff tumbled to the beach August 15 in an area known as “Bathtub Rock”, which is just north of Torrey Pines golf course.

    “These cliffs are constantly flaking off,” Lifeguard Supervisor Jeff Bruck said. “The reason this one is so scary is because of the proximity to people. We have a major trail coming out of the park right behind me and it's within 50 yards.”

    This was the same stretch of beach where a Las Vegas tourist was killed by a bluff collapse this time last year on August 20, 2008. San Diego fire officials say the victim was playing frisbee with family members. He walked over to the base of a cliff to take off his shoes and that's when a section of the cliff gave way, crumbling on top of him. The victim suffered severe head trauma from the falling rocks.

    About 75-feet of cliff at “Bathtub Rock” also came tumbling down July 22, 2008. Crews used thermal imaging and shovels to figure out if anyone had been buried beneath the rubble. No one was hurt in that collapse.