Fold mountains

Girl, 7, dies after tree fell in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GATLINBURG, TN (WATER) – A 7-year-old girl died after a tree fell on a tent at a Great Smoky Mountains campground overnight, according to a national park spokeswoman.

The girl is identified only as being from Georgia. His father and two siblings were not injured, park officials said.

First responders were called to Elkmont Campground 10 miles outside of Gatlinburg around 12:30 p.m. early Wednesday morning. There they found a large tree — a red maple — about two feet in diameter that had fallen on top of the tent, the park said.

The campsite and those in the immediate vicinity were closed on Wednesday. A park spokeswoman said the Elkmont Campground remains open.

This is the second child killed by falling trees while sleeping in the Smokies this year. In January, a 7-year-old girl was killed when a a tree fell on a rental cabin in Townsend.

The region has received a large amount of rainfall in recent weeks, including a flash flood at Greenbrier Campground, about 16 miles north of Elkmont, July 13. Greenbrier is completely closed due to landslides and washouts that park officials said the roads were too dangerous stay open.

Emergency responders from the Gatlinburg Fire Department, Gatlinburg Police Department and National Park Service responded to the call for help at the campground.