Huge blocks of ice crash into the Provo River from the dynamite explosion at Bridal Veil Falls

A bomb squad destroyed a bridge made of ice, tree branches and other debris for safety reasons, officials said.

(Isaac Hale | The Daily Herald via AP) Water tumbles down Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, Utah on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

Barrier tape, warning signs and even electronic messages have not stopped people from venturing onto a bridge of avalanche debris that formed over the Provo River near Bridal Veil Falls this spring.

Therefore, Utah County officials decided to eliminate the problem.

With a stunning dynamite blast Wednesday morning, the Utah Sheriff’s Bomb Squad destroyed the bridge of ice, tree branches and other debris, sending two huge blocks of ice down the Provo River. Spencer Cannon, spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, said he estimates the blocks of ice are up to 15 feet deep in places and between 40 and 50 feet long.

“The main reason we did that in the first place,” Cannon said, “is because we believe that if we didn’t do anything, there was a high probability that someone like this guy would die from climbing or jumping in the river.” did it last week.”

On Friday, an Instagram video surfaced of a man jumping from a hole in the debris bridge into the rushing river. The man survived the stunt.

Cannon called the man an “idiot”. He pointed out that search and rescue workers assumed the water temperature was near freezing at the moment, which could have serious consequences if things didn’t go to plan.

“If he missed where he was going to get off and went down another 50 to 100 meters, chances are he would have gotten so cold that he wouldn’t have been able to react at work to get out” , Canon said. “When you get cold and hypothermic, the first thing that happens is you lose your ability to function. And soon you lose the ability to think clearly. So if you jump in like that, even someone who’s a good swimmer might have a 50/50 chance of getting out because it’s not like doing your polar jump, where you jump in and then come out.”

While the accumulation of rocks and ice on the other side of the river has disappeared, much of the trail is still covered in debris. Cannon said he expects the water to melt and that cleanup will be needed this summer to make the trail passable again.

Justin Scaccy

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