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Woman suffers horrific burns from falling into thermal feature after sneaking into Yellowstone amid lockdown

The Yellowstone National Park had been shut down and closed to all visitors ever since March 24 given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
UPDATED MAY 13, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A woman who had "illegally entered" the Yellowstone National Park, suffered from burns after she accidentally fell into a thermal feature. 

The park officials revealed that the woman accidentally fell into a thermal feature which was near the Old Faithful Geyser. The Yellowstone National Park had been shut down and closed to all visitors ever since March 24 given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The Nation Park Service (NPS) released a statement saying that the woman had entered the park "illegally". She told park officials that she had been backing up to take pictures when she had slipped and fallen into a thermal feature, CNN reports. 

On its website, the park has advised, "Water in hot springs can cause severe or fatal burns, and scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust around hot springs. Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature."

The woman was not identified by park officials. After she fell in, she had managed to get into her vehicle and drive through the park for around 50 miles when she was contacted by rangers. Due  to her injuries, she was taken to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, officials revealed. 

Visitors at the park are advised and warned to stay on boardwalks near Yellowstone's boiling or acidic thermal features. NPS also revealed that the Old Faithful Geyser erupts every 90 minutes or so with the average temperature of the water being 169.7 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The current health status of the woman is not known and park officials are trying to figure out which thermal feature she had fallen into. 

Earlier on this year, two men had been caught breaking in and trespassing near the cone of the Old Faithful Geyser which is a closed thermal area. The two men were sentenced to 10 days in prison and were handed five years of probation as well. 

The men were also fined around $540 and banned from the park for a period of five years. Park Chief Ranger Sarah Davis spoke about the sentencing and said, "Visitors must realize that walking on thermal features is dangerous, damages the resource, and illegal."

"Law enforcement officers take this violation seriously. Yellowstone National Park also appreciates the court for recognizing the impact thermal trespass can have on these amazing features."

Last year, another individual had suffered severe burns when he decided to take a walk off the boardwalk in the night. He had not been carrying a flashlight when he slipped and fell into the thermal water near the cone of the Old Faithful Geyser. 

In light of that incident, NPS had said that damage to the geyser cone could result in a person being prosecuted. In 2017, a man hailing from North Carolina had fallen into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin north of the Old Faithful area and had suffered severe burns. 

The year before that, an Oregon man had died when he went off the boardwalk and fell into a hot spring where the temperature was 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The man's body was never recovered.