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4 people fell off a cliff in Southern California

Small waves crash into the beach surrounded by cliffs in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Four people fell off a Southern California ocean cliff in the early morning darkness on Monday.
Jae C. Hong
/
AP
Small waves crash into the beach surrounded by cliffs in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Four people fell off a Southern California ocean cliff in the early morning darkness on Monday.

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. — A man was killed and two women were critically injured when four people fell off a Southern California ocean cliff before dawn Monday, authorities said.

The fourth person, a man who suffered minor injuries, managed to climb back up from the beach below and alert a passing officer at about 4:30 a.m., said Capt. Steve Barber of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

A 25-year-old man from Los Angeles died at the scene, Barber said. Two women were airlifted from the beach and each hospitalized in critical condition, he said.

TV news helicopters showed a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter hoisting one of the victims to a rescue vehicle at the top of the cliff.

Police were investigating the event as an accident, Barber said.

An onlooker stands near an ocean cliff in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., on Monday.
Jae C. Hong / AP
/
AP
An onlooker stands near an ocean cliff in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., on Monday.

Palos Verdes Estates is on the Palos Verdes Peninsula at the southern end of Los Angeles County. A trail runs along the bluff top about 300 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

There have been several accidents in the area over the years, Barber said, and a few suicides.

"There's no indication at this point that this was anything other than an accident," he said.

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The Associated Press