Three people were hospitalised after an “iceberg wall” fell onto them at a museum dedicated to the ill-fated SS Titanic.
The Titanic Museum Attraction features more than 400 artefacts from doomed RMS Titanic, which sank during its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in 1912.
The museum boasts pieces of authentic White Star Line crockery and a battered deck chair which may well have been used as a float by desperate survivor.
Among the museum’s most notable attractions is the opportunity for visitors to put their hands in freezing water and “touch a real iceberg”.
Somehow, at around 8pm on Monday evening the huge piece of ice fell onto members of the public, injuring three people. The extent of their injuries is not clear at this time.
One patient was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Centre, about 30 miles away in Knoxville about 30 miles away, Pigeon Forge Fire Department commander Tony L. Watson told CNN.
The other two were taken by ambulance to LeConte Medical Centre in Sevierville.
Mary Kellogg Joslyn and her husband John run Pigeon Forge's Titanic Museum Attraction.
Mary wrote on the museum’s Facebook page: “Our iceberg wall collapsed and injured 3 guests who were taken to the hospital. At this time, we do not know the extent of their injuries.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured, as well as their family and friends.”
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“Needless to say," Mary added, "we never would have expected an incident like this to occur as the safety of our guests and crew members are always top of mind.
“We take pride in the quality of our maintenance and have measures in place to ensure that appropriate safety guidelines are upheld,” they said.
The statement went on to promise that the cause of the accident would be identified, and steps would be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
”Our maintenance professionals are in the process of reevaluating our quality and safety guidelines and we'll make all modifications, as necessary, to proactively ensure the well-being of all who experience Titanic Museum Attractions,” the official statement read.
The attraction was closed after the accident Monday but reopened earlier today to customers that had pre-booked.
The museum, which opened in 2010, is one of two such museums in the US operated by parent company cedar Bay Entertainment, the other being in Missouri.
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