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North Carolina Man Burned After Falling Into Yellowstone Hot Spring

Clepsydra geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Lower Geyser Basin

A 21-year-old North Carolina man suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Park officials say Gervais Dylan Gatete, an employee of park concessionaire Xanterra Parks and Resorts, fell into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin just north of Old Faithful late Tuesday. 

“Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous. And we continue to urge visitors to stay safe in thermal areas and to recognize that they are dangerous places,” park spokesperson Morgan Warthin said. 

Gatete was with seven other people when he fell. After the incident, the group attempted to evacuate him by car. Just before midnight, they flagged down a ranger. Park staff provided immediate medical assistance and transported Gatete to an airport in West Yellowstone and then a hospital in Salt Lake City.

“He was sent to the Salt Lake City burn center because of the severity of the burns that he sustained,” Warthin said.

Warthin says the incident is still under investigation. She did not know Gatete's medical condition. Warthin says the injured man’s employer, Xanterra, details the danger of hot springs during an orientation for incoming seasonal employees.

This is the first serious injury in a thermal area in Yellowstone this year. Last June, a man left the boardwalk and died after falling into a hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

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