7 dead, up to 14 victims in flash flood at swimming hole near Payson

Gila County Sheriff's Office began the search and rescue operation around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after heavy rainfall hit the Payson area.

PAYSON, Ariz.- Authorities said seven people have been found dead and three other individuals are still missing after a flash flood rushed through a swimming hole north of Payson Saturday.

Gila County Sheriff's Office said 14 people are victims to the flash flood, with the youngest victim being 2 years old and the oldest being 60 years old. Crews rescued four people this morning.

GCSO began the search and rescue operation around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after heavy rainfall hit the Payson area, causing a flash flood at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole and Forest Service Road 420.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety, U.S. Forest Service and Whispering Pines Fire District have joined The GCSO in the search and rescue operation.

There are closures in place at First Crossing and Second Crossing on Houston Mesa Road, according to GCSO. Water Wheel campground are closed. 

This story is developing and will be updated when more information becomes available. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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