The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 5, 2013

Investigators: Fatal rockslide was not predictable

ST. PAUL (AP) — Investigators say a rockslide that killed two children in a St. Paul park last spring was the result of natural causes, and the city could not have predicted it.

Mayor Chris Coleman hired two independent investigators to examine the cause of the May incident at Lilydale Regional Park.

The investigations found the rockslide was caused by natural soil erosion aggravated by a rainy spring and foot traffic on unmarked trails. Investigators say that while city officials knew erosion was an issue in the park, there's no evidence they knew unstable bluffs posed a risk.

Lilydale Regional Park is a popular destination for fossil hunting.

Coleman says the city will continue to suspend fossil hunting permits as it works on policies to make sure park visitors know of the risks.

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