Search for missing person in Utah’s Zion National Park after flash flood

After a flash flood, the Zion National Park search and rescue team continues to search for a missing person. The Utah park’s Narrows and Riverside Walk will remain closed Saturday as the search for the missing person continues, according to park officials.

The National Park Service received a report of a missing person late Friday night. The search for that person is ongoing, and the NPS has more than 20 search and rescue team members in the field looking for them, according to Zion spokesman Jonathan Shafer.

Authorities identified the hiker as Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona. Agnihotri was late for a trip in the Narrows, officials said.

“Park rangers and other members of the Zion Search and Rescue Team responded quickly to this event and we are continuing our efforts,” said Jeff Bradybaugh, Superintendent of Zion National Park. “I want to express the park’s appreciation for the continued support we have received from the National Weather Service, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hurricane Valley Fire District as we continue to search and rescue.”

PHOTO: This September 15, 2015 file photo shows the sign to Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah.

This September 15, 2015 file photo shows the sign for Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah.

Rick Bowmer/AP, FILE

NPS initially received multiple reports of park visitors being swept away around 2:15 p.m. Friday by a flash flood in the Narrows in Zion Canyon. When that report was received, NPS guards were immediately dispatched to the scene to assess the situation and began mobilizing additional resources for a large-scale response, Shafer said.

Park Rangers walked Riverside Walk over several acres of high ground isolated by water. Rangers spoke to those visitors and instructed them to stay in place, Shafer said.

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According to Shafer, more than 20 park rangers and members of the search and rescue team have been deployed with flotation devices and ropes in an attempt to reach visitors who may be in the water.

Rangers interviewed each group en route from Riverside Walk to make sure they had no missing member of their group and that rescuers stayed by the side of the river with flotation devices and ropes, Shafer said.

NPS could not comment on the number of people rescued yesterday or additional details about the missing person.

The park’s trail crew is also assessing the Emerald Pools and Kayenta trails after the storm, according to Zion’s website.

Abigail Shalawylo contributed to this report.

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