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Hiker missing after flash flood at Utah’s Zion National Park

The missing woman was identified as Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona. Another visitor was injured when they were carried downstream in the flooding.
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Rescuers continued searching over the weekend for a woman who went missing Friday amid a flash flood at Zion National Park in Utah that also swept a group of hikers off their feet.

The National Park Service identified the missing visitor as Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona. She failed to return to her lodging Friday night following a day trip to the Narrows in the afternoon, the park service said in a statement.

Hikers wade through the Virgin River along the Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah, in 2009.
Hikers wade through the Virgin River along the Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah, in 2009. Ross D. Franklin / AP, file

Park officials said multiple hikers reported being swept off their feet Friday by flash flooding along the park's backbone — the Virgin River.

When park rangers responded to the report, they found an injured hiker several hundred yards downstream of the Temple of Sinawava, the park service said. The visitor was hospitalized, and their condition was unavailable.

Rangers also found several hikers on trapped on high ground by the water, park officials said. They were ultimately helped to safety, it said.

All the hikers were thought to be accounted for after the initial search until later that evening when Agnihotri's friends reported her missing, the park service said.

The area where Agnihotri went to hike, the Narrows, along with the adjacent Riverside Walk, were closed until further notice to facilitate the search.

Virgin River Narrows camping permits and certain hiking permits were canceled as well.

Agnihotri's friends told NBC affiliate KSL of Salt Lake City that she wanted to see the Narrows on Friday despite the flash flood warnings that helped convince her friends not to go.

Pujan Agnihotri, her brother, told the station she couldn't swim.

The popular Narrows hike requires visitors to walk in the Virgin River through the Zion Canyon, which is 20 to 30 feet wide in some places. The area is susceptible to flash flooding because it’s surrounded by bare rock that doesn’t absorb water, according to the park's website.