An ice wall in Tennessee’s famed Titanic Museum collapsed on Monday, injuring three guests.
In a statement on the attraction’s Facebook page, owners Mary Kellogg Joslyn and John Joslyn explained that the injured guests were taken to a hospital immediately following the ice wall’s collapse. “At this time, we do not know the extent of their injuries,” they said, “and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all who were affected, including the first-responders.”
A statement from the Pigeon Forge Police Department says the collapse appears to be entirely accidental.
After the incident Monday, the museum immediately closed for the rest of the day. It reopened Tuesday for all ticket-holders, but without the former iceberg wall. The owners anticipate it will take at least 4 weeks for the ice wall to be reconstructed.
While the museum, a half-scale ship-shaped replica of the famous boat, will continue hosting guests — referred to as “passengers” — officials are also in the process of re-evaluating all safety guidelines and plan to make any necessary modifications.
“Needless to say, 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,” the owners said in a statement to the Associated Press.
The attraction opened in 2010 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, almost 100 years after the Titanic’s first and only voyage. Visitors receive a boarding pass with the name of an actual Titanic passenger, experience a replica of the famed grand staircase, view hundreds of Titanic artifacts, participate in a boiler room coal-shoveling simulation, and feel just how cold 28-degree water is. The experience ends with a memorial room where visitors can learn the fate of the passenger on their boarding pass.
Cedar Bay Entertainment owns both the Pigeon Forge location and the Titanic museum in Branson, Missouri.