MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (CBS/AP) — A 21-year-old North Carolina man has suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.
Park officials say Gervais Dylan Gatete of Raleigh, an employee of park concessionaire Xanterra Parks and Resorts, fell into a spring in the Lower Geyser Basin on Tuesday. The area is north of the famous Old Faithful geyser, CBS afiliate KGWN reports.
Gatete was with seven other people when he fell. He was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone, Montana, and was flown to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Hospital spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester said he was in critical but stable condition.
Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said the incident is still under investigation.
It’s the first serious injury in a thermal area in Yellowstone this year. Last June, a man died after falling into a hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin. The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface.
“Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk, KGWN reports. “We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety.”