Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 26, 2024
Rockslide at Mead's Quarry in Knoxville Sends Boulders Crashing; One Hospitalized, Area Closed for Safety AssessmentsSource: Facebook/Knoxville Fire Department - TN

A typical day of leisure turned to chaos at Mead's Quarry in Knoxville last Saturday when a rockslide sent boulders crashing into the water, creating dangerous waves. The Knoxville Fire Department was called to the scene at Ijams Nature Center just before 6 p.m., where Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks reported the rescue efforts. Wilbanks said the team quickly ascertained that everyone had managed to get out of the water following the unexpected rockslide.

One individual, however, did not escape unscathed, choosing to be seen at a local hospital, as reported by WBIR. The rescue team coordinated by KFD and American Medical Response facilitated their safe hospital transportation. Details on their condition have not been released to the public. While other individuals present during the incident were reportedly struck with minor injuries, they did not require hospitalization.

The incident, which involved three large boulders sliding rapidly into the water, generated waves estimated to be up to 10 feet tall, rocking the typically placid quarry frequented by swimmers and kayakers alike, particularly on a holiday weekend. According to an account by Calvin Sebourn, a University of Tennessee student who was fishing at the time, the festivity was shattered by a loud "boom" which preluded the quarry's unsettling tremble, as described in a piece by Hellbender Press.

The quarry is now closed until further notice as safety inspections are to absolutely be conducted to prevent future incidents. This comes as a result of the rockslide's likely connection to an intense thunderstorm that had passed through the area hours earlier, potentially loosening the earth around the quarry. The Knoxville Fire Department has yet to release additional information, as the event remains under investigation. No other swimmers or paddlers were reported to have been significantly harmed in the incident, a statement obtained by WVLT added.