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Woman plunges to her death from Tennessee theme park ride


A woman fell 30 feet to her death while riding a chair lift at a theme park in Tennessee, officials said.

The woman, who appeared to be in her late 20s, was not immediately identified after she was discovered lifeless beneath a chairlift attraction at Anakeesta Theme Park in Gatlinburg, WVLT reported.

Witnesses told the station the woman fell at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and did not have her safety railing engaged when she plummeted about 30 feet into the 60-foot ride.

Some park-goers also said they were told not to look down while on the ride, WVLT reported.

Jeffrey McConnell said he was at the park with his fiancée and three children when the woman fell about three-quarters of the way up. The ride inexplicably kept going after she fell, McConnell said.

“You could see the concern on everyone’s face that was getting on,” another witness, Jay Duero, told the station.

The ride was last inspected in late April and its latest permit was set to expire on Aug. 4.

Park officials confirmed the woman’s death while saying an investigation was ongoing.

“Our hearts are with the family of the deceased,” Anakeesta officials said. “We cannot disclose further information at this time.”

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will conduct a mechanical inspection of the chair lift, which was closed on Friday, park officials said.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will conduct a mechanical inspection of the chair lift, which was closed on Friday, park officials said.
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The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will conduct a mechanical inspection of the chair lift, which was closed on Friday, WBIR reported.

The state investigation may take up to eight weeks, officials said.

Some people who said they witnessed the woman fall speculated online that she may have intentionally jumped to her death.

“The lady that fell jumped!” read one Facebook reply to Anakeesta’s note on the ride closure. “Many witnesses. She did not fall on accident. Stop blaming the park.”



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