Three people have been injured by an iceberg at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, Tennessee.
In what could be re-marketed as an impressive commitment to realism, the iceberg wall at the museum collapsed on Monday, August 2, putting three people in hospital. The Titanic Museum was closed by the iceberg incident while responders attended to the injured.
Issuing a statement, the owners of the attraction sounded a little like how the builders of the actual Titanic might have after the "unsinkable" ship sank.
“Needless to say, we never would have expected an incident like this to occur as the safety of our guests and team members is always top of mind,” they said on Facebook on August 3. “We take pride in the quality of our maintenance and have measures in place to ensure that appropriate safety guidelines are upheld. At this time, our attraction is closed. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured, as well as their family and friends.”
The world's largest Titanic museum, in all its glory.
The museum has since reopened, though for now the Titanic attraction has the added safety feature of not having an iceberg in it. (If only they'd thought of this in 1912.) The owners have estimated the iceberg wall will take at least four weeks to rebuild.
"Immediately following the accident, Titanic Museum Attraction was closed, and as of the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 3, we reopened to ticketed passengers. The iceberg wall does not currently exist, and the affected area has been blocked off, for the time being. We anticipate it will take at least four weeks for the iceberg to rebuild," the owners said.
The iceberg attraction, which was 4.6 by 8.5 meters (15 by 28 feet) tall was made of real ice that visitors could touch, using a water filtration system that was topped up daily. The cause of its shattering has not been disclosed. To be fair, it was a pretty cool feature at the museum, which is host to over 400 artifacts from the doomed ship. The rapidly deteriorating wreck of the ship currently lies 3.8 kilometers (2.37 miles) below the surface about 740 kilometers (400 nautical miles) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
Fingers crossed the Titanic II – a replica of the original ship that is expected to set sail in 2022, tracing the Titanic's route across the Atlantic – doesn't suffer from the same metaphor problems encountered by the museum.