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Woman killed jumping from Smoky Mountains theme park chairlift

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A woman died at a Smoky Mountains theme park after jumping off a chairlift, Gatlinburg officials say.

Anakeesta Chairlift, Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Google Maps image)

A 911 call reported the woman on the ground under the Anakeesta chairlift around 7:40 p.m. Thursday, city officials told WVLT. Rescue teams declared him dead at the scene.

On Friday, Gatlinburg police said witness reports indicated the woman intentionally jumped. She was 40 and originally from the Nashville suburb of La Vergne, about 200 miles west of Gatlinburg.

Anakeesta Park officials said they continued to operate the elevator long enough to allow all passengers to descend. People left at its upper terminus were brought back to the main entrance by shuttle buses.

The elevator remained closed on Friday. It takes riders from the park entrance on Gatlinburg’s main tourist strip to a hilltop cluster of restaurants, viewing platforms, rides, and forest trails. Each chair can carry four riders; a bar lowers to waist height over seated riders. For most of the ride, the chairs are 30-40 feet above the ground.

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