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Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters

September 28, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Sunday, June 30, 2013, file photo, the Yarnell Hill Fire burns in Glenn Ilah near Yarnell, Ariz. Investigators are set to release a report Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, on the deaths of 19 elite firefighters in Arizona, nearly three months after the crew became trapped by flames in a brush-choked canyon north of Phoenix. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski, File)

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A three-month investigation into the June deaths of 19 Arizona firefighters found that the men ceased radio communication for a half hour before they were killed in a wildfire blaze. The report did not assign blame, and some family members say that reluctance could put other lives in danger.

The 120-page report released Saturday found that proper procedure was followed in the worst firefighting tragedy since Sept. 11, 2001. Investigators suggested that the state of Arizona should possibly update its guidelines and look into better tracking technology.

All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died June 30 while protecting the small former gold rush town of Yarnell, abLogin to read more

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