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Rockslide kills boy in Israel nature reserve near Dead Sea

By Dedi Hayoun

EIN GEDI, Israel (Reuters) - A rockslide at a popular Israeli nature reserve near the Dead Sea killed a boy and injured at least eight people on Thursday, the ambulance service said.

Police rescue efforts were assisted by the military, which dispatched helicopters to assist with the evacuation of casualties. Some of the injured were trapped under rocks before they were freed and airlifted to hospital.

"You could see rocks the size of cars falling down," Yonatan Bar David, who was at the Ein Gedi site with his family, told Kan Radio. He was unharmed but two of his children were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Rockfall warnings are common in the southern desert cliffs of Ein Gedi, a hiking site known for its springs and waterfalls.

Police said they were looking into the incident. Sections of the area will remain closed while a geological survey is conducted, said the head of the Ein Gedi Rescue Unit, Alon Shachal.

(Additional reporting and writing by Henriette Chacar; Editing by Frances Kerry)