Late on Sunday night, 48-year-old Cade Edmond Siemers was walking near Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park when he tripped and fell into a geothermal pool, the National Park Service announced. He was severely burned by the scalding water, and sustained burns over “a significant portion of his body” the press release states.
According to the NPS, Siemers strayed from the boardwalk that runs through the geyser area and began walking around without a flashlight. He tripped and fell into the hot spring, but managed to get out and walk back to his hotel, the Old Faithful Inn, where he called for help. Rangers and paramedics responded, and he was transported by ambulance to West Yellowstone Airport and then flown to Idaho Falls to get treatment at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. CNN reports that he was in critical condition as of Monday.
Park rangers are still investigating the incident, but they recovered one of his shoes, a hat, and a beer can near the geyser. They’re also assessing the area to determine if Siemers damaged the geyser—if he did, he could be prosecuted.
While beautiful, the areas around geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone are especially dangerous for people. The ground is “fragile and thin,” the NPS press release states, and boiling water runs just below the surface. Several other people have been injured or killed by geothermal features in the park: Most recently, another man was severely burned when he fell into a hot spring in Lower Geyser Basin in June 2017, and in June 2016, a man died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin.
The NPS reminds Yellowstone visitors to stay on the boardwalks—if you venture off of them, you take your life into your own hands.
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