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Four Dead, Three Missing After Flooding in Zion National Park

The group of seven people were canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon Monday when more than a half-inch of rain fell over an hour, causing flash floods.
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Four people were found dead and three people were still missing Tuesday after flash floods in Utah’s Zion National Park Monday, officials said.

The deaths occurred as a group was exploring Keyhole Canyon. In a community to the south of the park, flash floods Monday also killed at least 12 people.

The National Park Service said 0.63 inches of rain fell over Zion National Park between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, causing flooding.

Rangers were notified the group of seven people was canyoneering in Keyhole Canyon before the flooding, and later Monday found the group’s unoccupied vehicles. Keyhole Canyon is a short slot canyon that requires some short rappels and a swim, according to the park service.

The names of those recovered or still missing were not released Tuesday. Park spokeswoman Holly Baker said the bodies of three men and one woman were found.

The group was made up of four men and three women in their 40s and 50s, Zion National Park public information officer Aly Baltrus told NBC station KSL. At least three bodies were found downstream of the canyon, she said.

More rain and high water hampered the search Tuesday, the park service said, and it was later suspended for the day.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the east side of Zion National Park, where the canyon is located.

"Any place that can flood, might flood again tonight," Baltrus told KSL. "We are not used to this kind of rain. It floods, and it floods fast."