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Man severely burned after falling into hot spring at Yellowstone - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Man severely burned after falling into hot spring at Yellowstone National Park

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GREAT FALLS -

A man from Raleigh, North Carolina, sustained severe burns after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National park on Tuesday, June 13. 

The incident happened in the Lower Geyser Basin off of Fountain Flat Drive just north of the Old Faithful area, according to a press release.

Gervais Dylan Gatete, 21-years-old, is an employee with Xanterra Parks and Resorts. He was with seven other people when he fell. 

After the incident, the group attempted to evacuate Gatete by car. Just before midnight, they flagged down a ranger near Seven Mile Bridge on the West Entrance Road. 

Park staff provided immediate medical assistance and took Gatete via ambulance to the airport in West Yellowstone. From there, he was flown to a hospital. 

Since rangers were not at the scene of the incident last night, it is not yet clear exactly where and how it occurred. 

Park officials are investigating the incident.

“Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous,” said Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety.” 

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. 

This is the first serious injury in a thermal area this year. 

Last June, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin, and a boy sustained thermal burns in a separate incident that month.

In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. 

Learn about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety.

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