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5 hikers killed in Colorado rockslide; girl was rescued, sheriff’s office says

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(CNN) — The effort to free five hikers who became trapped after a rockslide in Colorado on Monday has turned from a rescue mission into one of recovery.

Monica Broaddus of the Chaffee County sheriff’s office told CNN that the five hikers who became trapped after a late morning rockslide have died.

“The search will now focus on the recovery of the remaining five hikers’ bodies” Sheriff Pete Palmer said in a statement.

A sixth hiker, a 13-year-old girl, was dug from the debris by Chaffee County sheriff’s deputies and flown to Children’s Hospital in Denver. Her condition is unknown.

Reports of the slide on a trail at Agnes Vaille Falls in Nathrop — about 120 miles southwest of Denver — came in just after 11 a.m. MT.

A rainy month may have been “a contributing factor to the unstable conditions in the area,” Palmer said, but “the exact cause of this specific slide is not yet known.”

Officials said that the site ofslide is still very unstable and that no one is allowed in the area other than the authorities. Palmer said engineers are evaluating the conditions, adding “we will go back in as soon as the area can be declared safe for the search teams.”

The hikers’ names have not been released. It is not known whether the six hikers were related.

By Kevin Conlon