BASE jumping malfunction leads to death in Zion National Park

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8 2014 10:40 p.m. MST

Zion National Park Entrance.

Matt Gade, Deseret News Archives

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SPRINGDALE, Washington County — A woman fell to her death Saturday after her parachute malfunctioned during a BASE jump in Zion National Park, officials said.

Park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus said the woman, identified only as in her mid-30s, was attempting to BASE jump off of Mount Kinesava around 2:30 p.m. when her parachute failed to open. The woman was with another person, who hiked down off the mountain and alerted park personnel around 6:30 p.m.

Baltrus said the height of the fall is approximately 1,500 feet. BASE jumping is not allowed in the park and the incident is the park's first BASE jumping fatality, Baltrus said.

She said officials are not sure of the location of the woman's body and plan to launch a helicopter-assisted search Sunday morning.

"Since it’s a confirmed fatality we are not going to try a night rescue," Baltrus said.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com, Twitter: bjaminwood

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