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Man dies despite lengthy rescue effort in Zoar Valley

UPDATE: Another young life cut short in Zoar Valley as Hamburg grad falls to his death

A man in his 20s died despite a lengthy rescue attempt in Zoar Valley on Sunday, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officials said.

The victim, whose name has not been released, is believed to have fallen on the East Otto side of the gorge, according to sheriff's officials and a local fire chief.

Televised reports indicated that the man died in a 70-foot fall.

The incident was reported just before 3 p.m. Sunday.

Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi reported Sunday evening that first responders spent about two hours pulling the man out of the gorge. Crassi said the victim was reported to have fallen in the waterfall upstream, when the fire department received the call. The man was reported to be found with serious head injuries and trauma, according to Crassi.

First responders located the man by using cellphone signals from him and his friends, said Crassi.

The man was with a group who were reported to have been exploring the gorge for fun, according to Crassi. The fire chief said none of the group was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Gowanda Fire Department called Mercy Flight helicopters to the scene, but the copters had to leave due to a storm in the area.

An investigation is underway to find the cause of the accident.

Last August, a South Buffalo family hiking in the area fell into the gorge, leaving the parents the dead. Two boys were rescued.

At beautiful and dangerous Zoar Valley, a cautionary tale for hikers

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