1 hospitalized after propane leak at Zion National Park

1 hospitalized after propane leak at Zion National Park

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ZION NATIONAL PARK -- One man is hospitalized after a propane leak at the Zion Lodge, authorities said.

The leak was detected about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A worker at the popular lodge tried to fix the leak, which was in a broken line feeding into an underground tank, and inhaled propane fumes, National Park Service spokesman Ron Terry told KSL NewsRadio.

"It was an inhalation injury," Terry said. "That person was treated at the scene and then taken by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center."

That man's condition was unknown, Terry said. The Zion Lodge and surrounding areas were evacuated.

"The public restroom facility, the Zion Lodge Shuttle Stop and the main building because of the proximity to the tank where the leak was occurring," Terry said.

A pair of maintenance workers wearing breathing apparatus managed to shut off the leak.

"It was actually a line at the tank that had broken off," Terry said. "It was above ground."

Winds eventually dissipated the gas, and the all clear was given. Terry did not immediately know how many people were evacuated. The portion of the lodge that was evacuated did not include housing, he said.

Meanwhile, the dining room at the Zion Lodge will remain closed until it can be repaired, park officials said. "Propane is something that can be very dangerous," Terry said. "We responded as quickly and efficiently as we could to make sure everyone was out of the area."

Thousands of people are expected at Zion National Park over the Fourth of July weekend. The park is one of southern Utah's most popular tourist destinations.

E-mail: bwinslow@ksl.com

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