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Man burned after falling into Yellowstone hot spring

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/15/2017 Mary Bowerman

Video: Man In Critical Condition After Falling Into Hot Spring at Yellowstone (provided by Time)

A North Carolina man was severely burned Tuesday evening after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park, according to park officials.

Gervais Dylan Gatete, 22, of Raleigh, N.C., was near the Lower Geyser Basin just north of the Old Faithful area, when he was injured, according to a statement from Yellowstone National Park. Gatete, who is an employee at Xanterra Parks & Resorts, was with a group of people when he fell in. 

According to the statement, the group put Gatete in a car and tried to get him to a hospital. They were able to flag down a park ranger just before midnight, and the 22-year-old was given medical attention and ultimately flown to a hospital.

Park officials said the incident highlights how dangerous it can be to get too close to hot springs. According to the statement, there is "scalding water just below the surface," near many of the hydrothermal areas.

“Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety.”

Park officials aren't sure how Gatete fell into the hot spring and an investigation is under way. 

This is the first thermal accident in 2017, according to the park. In 2016, an Oregon man died after falling into a boiling, acidic spring in Yellowstone National Park. He was reportedly trying to ‘hot pot,” or soak in one of the park’s thermal pools, according to a report on the accident. 

Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman 

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