Search underway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park after man falls into water at Midnight Hole

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CATALOOCHEE, N.C. (WATE) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials and authorities in North Carolina are conducting an active search for a man who reportedly fell into the water at Midnight Hole.

GSMNP and Haywood County authorities are currently searching for 25-year-old Yogesh Patel of Oak Forest, Illinois, in the Big Creek Trail area of the park. Patel was reported missing at 7:36 p.m. Monday after he reportedly fell into the water at Midnight Hole and was observed struggling.  

Bystanders attempted to pull Patel from the water but were not successful. Rescue crews and park rangers arrived at the scene around 8 p.m. and began initial search operations which were hindered by darkness.

The search is ongoing.

No closures are currently in effect. However, visitors may experience temporary closures as search operations continue to allow the rescue teams safe access to the area. 

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