3 dead, 2 injured after cliff collapses at California beach

Three people were killed and two were injured after a cliff collapsed on an Encinitas, California beach.

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Authorities responded around 3 p.m. Friday and rescued five victims from underneath rubble at Grandview Beach, San Diego County Sheriff's Department Lt. Greenwald told KNSD-TV.

One woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Two victims died after being taken to a hospital, the City of Encinitas tweeted. One other victim remains hospitalized, and another was treated at the scene for minor injuries, KNSD-TV reported.

"They were facing the ocean," Encinitas Fire and Marine Safety Capt. Larry Giles told The Washington Post. "So, it came from behind them and basically overtook them and crushed them."

First responders and rescue dogs searched the rubble for more possible victims Friday night.

Grandview Beach is close to San Diego and is known as a popular spot for surfers, according to KSND-TV.

The cliff collapse left nearly 20 yards of debris material on the beach, Encinitas Fire Chief Mike Stein told CNN. Beachgoers were "recreating right underneath the bluffs," Stein said.

Natural erosion can make it difficult to predict when parts of a cliff will break off, Giles said.

"Encinitas lifeguards here along with the state park lifeguards, we warn people excessively throughout the year ... we tell people over and over and over to stay back from these naturally eroding cliffs," he said.

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