A Florida State University student from Pompano Beach died in a tragic accident while studying abroad in Israel, the university announced on their website.
According to the announcement, 20-year-old Briana McHam was on an excursion to Masada, an ancient site under the authority of Israel's National Park System. Masada is in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, similar to a mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.
Local officials in Israel say that after visiting Masada, McHam and two other students in the program elected to walk to the bottom. According to reports, McHam was found dead after the other students made it back from the trek.
Israeli news agencies report that McHam fell more than 25 feet and suffered dehydration due to severe heat.
The university immediately notified McHam's emergency contact, and offered counseling service to other students in the program.
The school's International Programs office, along with local officials in Israel, are continuing to investigate the matter and the circumstances surrounding McHam's death.
In a statement, Dr. James Pitts, the director of International Programs for FSU, said "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, who was at the beginning of a life of discovery broadening her horizons. Our hearts go out to her family, and we will assist them in any way we can, as well as other FSU students who might be affected during this difficult time.”
Friends and family have poured out condolences on McHam's Facebook page. According to her profile, McHam was studing Criminal Law and was an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega coeducational national service fraternity.