Man dies after fall from platform on hiking trail

    The Winner Creek hand tram near Girdwood.

    Girdwood, Alaska (AP) - A man has died after falling from a platform on a Girdwood hiking trail, officials said.

    The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that 57-year-old Jeffrey Hummel of Anchorage was killed in the accident Saturday at a hand tram in Girdwood.

    The Girdwood Fire Department and Whittier Police Department responded to the Winner Creek Trail at 3:40 p.m.

    "Due to the severity of the fall, Jeffery Hummel was pronounced dead at the scene," police said in a report.

    Hummel was assisting hikers crossing in the hand tram, a basket cage enabling people to cross a deep gorge in the town 39 miles southeast of Anchorage, Whittier police said.

    Hummel missed the safety netting and fell 50 feet after apparently losing his footing on the platform, authorities said.

    Volunteers helped emergency personnel lift Hummel to the top of the trail.

    The Girdwood Fire Department posted a message on social media Saturday night acknowledging those who assisted with the rescue effort, including Alyesksa Resort Mountain Patrol, LifeMed Alaska, the Anchorage Fire Department, Whittier police, and off-duty medical professionals and other bystanders.

    The hand tram was closed Sunday.

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