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Husband weeps after wife falls 70 feet off New York cliff

Police in New York are investigating the death of a 39-year-old Singapore woman who reportedly fell 70 feet after losing her footing while taking photos at the edge of a cliff. Meanwhile her husband says he wishes he had been the one to fall instead of her.

Nur Aisyah Binte MD Akbar and her husband were on vacation from Singapore and hiking along Beacon Hill Trail in Minnewaska State Park (about 100 miles north of New York City) on Dec. 22 and had stopped to take photos at the edge of a cliff, New York State Police said.

Police said Akbar lost her footing and fell approximately 70 feet off the cliff. Her husband, 41-year-old Abdul Rauf Bin Mohd Said, called 911. State police troopers responded, and Akbar was hoisted out by a helicopter.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, police said, adding that the incident remains under investigation.

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Husband details accident

Said detailed the accident on social media and thanked three sisters who were hiking in the area for helping his wife during some of her last moments.

The accident occurred as the couple “found a nice part of the park to sit down, take pictures, and discuss our next goals,” said Said, adding that the temperature was almost 32 degrees and there was ice present over the ground and rocks, making them very slippery.

As Said was recording a video of his wife talking about the park’s beauty, she slipped and fell down the cliff.

“Right after Ais fell off the cliff, I rushed forward, slipped, but didn’t fall off the cliff. (Believe me, I wished it had been me),” wrote Said on Facebook. “I screamed for help at the top of my lungs, and three sisters, who heard my cries, rushed over to my spot with their father and aunt.”

Said said that the sisters hiked down to where Akbar had fallen and told him that she was still breathing so they gave her their coats to keep her warm until rescuers and medics arrived.

“The sisters said Ais told them her name, that she had two dogs, and that she really wanted to drink sweet tea,” he wrote. “One of the rangers that was with her told me the same thing. And she was repeatedly saying thank you to them … Even during the most eventful moments, she was still thinking of making sure the people around her are appreciated.”

Said shared a shaky video that partially shows his wife being helped by the sisters.

“Thank you! Is she still alive!?” he shouts, followed by crying. A woman responds, “Yeah, she is.”

In another video shared by Said, he talks to the three sisters who shared more about how his wife was doing when they got to her.

“She wasn’t in any pain for the first while,” one of the sisters says. “She couldn’t feel much. But then right at the end she started to feel a little pain in her hips. She would say that her hands were cold but the rest of her was warm. So we were holding her hand and putting our hands on her hands.”

Said weeps: “I should have been down there.”

Wife wasn’t breathing at the time of evacuation

When his wife was being evacuated about three hours after the fall, Said said that paramedics told him she wasn’t breathing anymore.

“I broke down,” he wrote. “We rushed to the nearest hospital, where it was confirmed that she didn’t survive and had passed away.”

Said said that the rescue operation took about three hours because authorities needed to cut down trees to be able to evacuate using a helicopter. Furthermore, the rocks were slippery and the terrain difficult. Said said that he himself attempted to go down to where Akbar had fallen but kept slipping, even injuring his right wrist in the process.

Akbar’s body was repatriated to Singapore after the necessary legalities were completed and arrived there on Wednesday morning, Said said. The funeral and final rites will take place at the couple’s home in Singapore.

“I wished I was there, physically by your side at your final moments, but it was not meant to be,” Said wrote at the bottom of the Facebook post in a message to his wife. “I am sorry that I was not there. I hope you forgive me and wait for me. Everyone misses you and loves you.”

Mike Randall covers breaking news for the Times Herald-Record and the Poughkeepsie Journal. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @mikerandall845.

This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: Singapore woman falls to death at Minnewaska State Park in New York

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