Zion National Park investigates run-up to deaths of 7 hikers

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
National Park Considering Changing Permit System After Group Dies In Flood


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Zion National Park officials are retracing what led up to the deaths of seven people in a flooded canyon last month before a panel assesses what can be done to keep a growing number of visitors safe when spectacular natural settings turn perilous.

Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh says that investigators are talking to family members and examining the communications of the group in the hours before the Utah canyon filled with floodwaters from a powerful storm on Sept. 14.

The investigation could lead to changes in the permit system that controls who enters the park's 21 narrow slot canyons, whose unique geological quirks also make them deadly.

Bradybaugh says the panel could include outside experts as well as park officials and is expected to convene by late November.

14 PHOTOS
Zion National Park, Flood, bodies found
See Gallery
Zion National Park investigates run-up to deaths of 7 hikers
This photo released by National Park Service shows from left to right: Gary Favela, Don Teichner, Muku Reynolds, Steve Arthur, Linda Arthur, Robin Brum, and Mark MacKenzie. The hikers, six from California and one from Nevada, died when fast-moving floodwaters rushed through a narrow park canyon Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (National Park Service via AP)
Water flows through Zion National Park on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, near Springdale, Utah. Heavy rain sent flash floods coursing through a narrow slot canyon in southern Utah's Zion National Park, killing several and leaving others missing, officials said Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A member of a search and rescue team wades in to Virgin River during a search Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Seven hikers who entered a narrow desert canyon for a day of canyoneering became trapped when a flash flood filled the chasm with water, killing at least five of them in Zion National Park in southern Utah, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A member of a search and rescue team searches along the Virgin River Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Seven hikers who entered a narrow desert canyon for a day of canyoneering became trapped when a flash flood filled the chasm with water, killing at least five of them in Zion National Park in southern Utah, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A member of a search and rescue team wades in to Virgin River during a search Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Seven hikers who entered a narrow desert canyon for a day of canyoneering became trapped when a flash flood filled the chasm with water, killing at least five of them in Zion National Park in southern Utah, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A member of a search and rescue team searches along the Virgin River Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Seven hikers who entered a narrow desert canyon for a day of canyoneering became trapped when a flash flood filled the chasm with water, killing at least five of them in Zion National Park in southern Utah, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A member of a search and rescue team searches along the Virgin River Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Seven hikers who entered a narrow desert canyon for a day of canyoneering became trapped when a flash flood filled the chasm with water, killing at least five of them in Zion National Park in southern Utah, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Search and rescue team members carry a body after it was found along Pine Creek, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Authorities are searching for other hikers killed in flash flooding that swept through a narrow canyon at Utah's Zion National Park. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Search and rescue team members carry a body after it was found along Pine Creek, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Authorities are searching for other hikers killed in flash flooding that swept through a narrow canyon at Utah's Zion National Park. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Search and rescue team members place a litter in a net for helicopter transport after finding a body in Pine Creek on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah. Authorities are searching for other hikers killed in flash flooding that swept through a narrow canyon at Utah's Zion National Park. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
SPRINGDALE, UT - SEPTEMBER 15: Search and rescue personal finish their day of searching Pine Creek in Zion's National Park for lost hikers on September 15, 2015 in Springdale, Utah. Four hikers died and three are missing after a flash flood yesterday that also killed several woman and children in two vans that were swept away by the flood waters. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
SPRINGDALE, UT - SEPTEMBER 15: Search and rescue personal finish their day of searching Pine Creek in Zion's National Park for lost hikers on September 15, 2015 in Springdale, Utah. Four hikers died and three are missing after a flash flood yesterday that also killed several woman and children in two vans that were swept away by the flood waters. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
SPRINGDALE, UT - SEPTEMBER 15: Search and rescue personal finish their day of searching Pine Creek in Zion's National Park for lost hikers on September 15, 2015 in Springdale, Utah. Four hikers died and three are missing after a flash flood yesterday that also killed several woman and children in two vans that were swept away by the flood waters. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners