A family camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee) turned into a tragedy after a tree fell onto their tent, killing a 7-year-old girl inside, according to National Park Services.
According to a report, rangers responded around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to Elkmont Campground, located on the Tennessee side of the national park between Townsend and Gatlinburg. As they arrived at the site, they discovered the tent smashed by a massive red maple about 2 feet in diameter.
No one else in the tent at the time, including the girl’s father and two other siblings, was injured in the incident.
“Dying because of a tree falling on you is incredibly rare in and of itself. This is the first recorded time that we have ever had anybody die because of a tree that fell on their tent in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” Dana Soehn, a national park spokesperson, said in an interview.
Soehn stated that 11 incidents of fallen trees had taken place at the park.
“The other ones were primarily related to a motor vehicle accident where a tree fell while somebody was driving along one of our scenic roadways, or it was related to somebody hiking along the trail,” she said.
Park officials have not provided more details, but they stated that the campsite would be shut down in the next few days as they conduct an investigation.
This story originally appeared on WLVT.