LOS ANGELES - An investigation into why two agencies had contrasting accounts of a rescue operation at Eaton Canyon was ordered by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich on Wednesday, officials said.

Antonovich's office will try to determine why and how the two agencies released two different accounts of the rescue of two women hikers who fell late Monday night from Eaton Canyon Falls, which borders on Pasadena and unincorporated Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department press release said the hikers were taken by helicopter to Huntington Memorial Hospital, and that version of the story gives credit only to Altadena Search and Rescue, an all volunteer force under the direction of the Sheriff's Department.

But Pasadena Fire Department officials on the ground said there was no helicopter rescue, just a fly-by, and that Pasadena Fire led the rescue effort with help from Altadena Search and Rescue.

The competing narrative unleashed a war of words through emails between the two agencies, which this newspaper has obtained. By Wednesday, the scuttlebutt had reached the highest levels of county management and an investigation was under way.

"We are checking into it and want to find out what happened," Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell said. "We believe strongly in multi-agency operations and cooperation. We feel that all of these agencies first responders should give credit where credit is due."

brian.charles@sgvn.com

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