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Man missing in the Smokies

Midnight Hole Midnight Hole NPS photo

A search is underway for a missing man in the Big Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Yogesh Patel, 25, of Oak Forest, Illinois was reported missing at 7:36 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, after he reportedly fell into the water at Midnight Hole. He was observed struggling, and while bystanders attempted to pull him from the water they were not successful.

Rangers and rescue personnel arrived on scene at approximately 8 p.m. and began initial search operations, which were hindered by darkness. This morning, search efforts are ongoing.

No closures are currently in effect. Temporary closures may imposed as search operations continue to allow the rescue teams safe access to the area. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials and multiple emergency response agencies from Haywood County are involved in the search effort.

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