Search underway for missing person in Utah's Zion National Park following flash flood

More than 20 search and rescue team members are looking for the missing person.

August 20, 2022, 6:00 PM

Following a flash flood, the Zion National Park search and rescue team is continuing to search for a missing person. The Utah park's Narrows and Riverside Walk remain closed on Saturday as the search for the missing person continues, according to park officials.

The National Park Service received a report late Friday evening of a missing person. The search for that person is ongoing and 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 overdue from 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," Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park superintendent, said. "I want to express the park's appreciation for the ongoing support we've received from the National Weather Service, Washington County Sheriff's Office, and Hurricane Valley Fire District as we continue search and rescue operations."

PHOTO: In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo the sign to Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah is seen.
In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo the sign to Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah is seen.
Rick Bowmer/AP, FILE

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

Park Rangers hiked up Riverside Walk on several acres on high ground were isolated by water. Rangers spoke with those visitors and directed them to stay in place, according to Shafer.

More than 20 park rangers and members of the search and rescue team deployed with floatation devices and ropes in an attempt to reach visitors who might be in the water, according to Shafer.

Rangers interviewed every group that was heading out of Riverside Walk to ensure that they did not have a missing member of their party and rescuers remained along the side of the river with floatation devices and ropes, according to Shafer.

NPS could not elaborate on the number of people rescued yesterday or on any additional details regarding the missing individual.

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

Abigail Shalawylo contributed to this report.

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