American hiker found dead after fall near Israel’s Masada

Masada. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( A 20-year-old American hiker was found dead on Tuesday after apparently falling while on a hike up a path to the Masada mountain near the Dead Sea in Israel. 

According to reports, Briana McHam of Pompano Beach, Fla., who was participating in a Florida State University (FSU) summer program, fell about 26 feet near Masada’s popular Snake Path trail. The group she was with did not notice that she was missing until an hour later. When she fell, she hit her head and went unconscious in the searing heat. 

“She was showing no signs of life and injuries across her body and paramedics had no choice but to rule her dead at the scene,” Magen David Adom paramedic Uri Tzahi said, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, who was at the beginning of a life of discovery broadening her horizons," said Dr. James Pitts, director of FSU International Programs. "Our hearts go out to her family, and we will assist them in any way we can, as well as other FSU students who might be affected during this difficult time." 

Separately, a group of women in their late teens had to be evacuated from the Dead Sea after suffering from dehydration. Temperatures had approached 118 degrees in the Dead Sea region on Tuesday. 

Posted on May 19, 2015 .