Six Dead, 1 Missing After Zion National Park Flood

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By Phil Helsel

Six of seven hikers who were in a slot canyon in Utah’s Zion National Park have been found dead and one person remains missing, officials said Wednesday.

Washington County Emergency Services announced the sixth fatality Wednesday afternoon. Park officials on Tuesday said that four bodies were found.

One of the victims was identified Wednesday as Ventura County, California, sheriff's Sgt. Steve Arthur, the sheriff's office said in a statement. Arthur was with his wife, Linda, who remains missing, the sheriff's office said.

"Steve was known for his tireless efforts working with local youth both on and off duty and possessed a huge compassion for humanity," Sheriff Gbeoff Dean said in a statement. Arthur had three children.

Officials said the group of four men and three women were canyoneering in the Keyhole Canyon Monday when heavy rains hit the area, dropping 0.63 inches over the course of an hour Monday afternoon.

There was flash flooding in the canyon, and rangers found the group’s unoccupied vehicles Monday night and launched a search.

Heavy rains Monday also caused flash flooding that killed at least 12 people from two families in a community to the south of Zion National Park.

Searchers were looking for a 6-year-old boy who was still missing Wednesday after two vehicles were swept away by a flash flood in Hildale, on the Utah-Arizona border.