Construction Fumes Cause Carlsbad Evacuation

Natural entrance to Carlsbad Cavern

Photo by – pfulton –

Twice this past week Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitors Center had to be evacuated due to fumes after a hot-dipped galvanization process on steel beams had some unexpected results. Folks in the caves were unaffected by the evacuation.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is in the currently in the process testing a new technique to extend the of life of the steel elevator beams on the two main elevators that carry visitors and cargo from the surface into the cave. This technique is expected to extend the life of the beams by more than 50 years.

It is believed that the wind carried the fumes into the visitor center’s ventilation system, which tripped the alarm.

While the two large elevators are being serviced, two small secondary elevators are being utilized. These elevators with their smaller capacity ends up in longer wait times to enter the caves. On the plus side, in order to reduce the number of visitors waiting for the elevator, the park is allowing visitors to walk out the natural entrance.

From May 27 to September 5th (Labor Day), Carlsbad will have extended summer hours. For hours and other information visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park website.

Construction fumes cause cavern evacuation [Current-Argus]

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