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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

National Parks Can Be Deadly To Visitors

Above, one of Yellowstone's hot springs. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As more people are visiting our national parks, more incidents are happening that are injuring and killing park visitors.

Recently, at Yosemite National Park, according to Bakersfield Now:
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) -- Yosemite National Park has reopened an area where a woman was struck and killed by a ponderosa pine tree on Sunday. 
Park spokesman Scott Gediman says the accident happened Sunday in Half Dome Village, the area formerly known as Curry Village.
It's an area that has tent cabins and wooden cabins that are utilized by park visitors and park employees, but no one else was injured in the accident Sunday. 
Authorities have also identified the woman who was killed as 20-year-old Destiny Rose Texeira Borges of Ceres, California. 
She was in Yosemite working for a company contracted by the park concessioner amid heavy snow and high winds. 
Gediman says the last time someone was killed by a tree was in August 2015 when two Southern California teens were killed by an oak tree that fell on them.

And, also recently at Zion National Park, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
A hiker who was found dead Friday at Zion National Park has been identified as Florida resident Tate Ryan Volino, park officials said Monday. 
Officials said in a statement that Volino, 45, fell from the Angels Landing trail around 8:20 a.m. Friday.

Last year, one of the most gruesome accidents occurred at Yellowstone National Park.

From USA Today:
An Oregon man who died after falling into a boiling, acidic spring in Yellowstone National Park in June, was trying to ‘hot pot,” or soak in one of the park’s thermal pools, according to a report on the accident. 
The victim’s sister, Sable Scott, told park officials that she watched her brother, Colin Nathaniel Scott, 23, fall into a thermal pool while he reached down to check the water temperature, according to a report released Monday by Yellowstone officials.  
Rescuers arrived at the hot springs and determined that Colin was dead after seeing the “upper torso of a male victim floating face-up in a pool.” 
According to the report, the water temperature in the ten-foot-deep pool was over 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Officials were unable to retrieve Colin's body on June 7, so they returned the following morning, but the body was no longer visible, according to the report. 
“Evidence suggests that the extreme heat and the acidity of the water quickly dissolved his body in the hot spring,” according to the report, which stated his causes of death was ‘”scalding due to submersion in thermal hot spring.”
While our national parks are beautiful places to visit, accidents can happen and are occasionally deadly. Use caution and common sense when visiting them along with obeying the posted warning signs and literature that is distributed at entry gates.

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