7-year-old girl dies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park after tree falls on her tent

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 7-year-old girl was killed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early morning July 27 when a tree fell on the tent in which she was sleeping, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

Rangers responded at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the park service. 

The 7-year-old girl was from Georgia. The other family members, including her father and two siblings, were not hurt, the release said. The large red maple was about 2 feet in diameter.

The campground is on the Tennessee side of the national park, between Townsend and Gatlinburg. 

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Emergency responders from Gatlinburg Fire Department, Gatlinburg Police Department, and the National Park Service responded to the site. The campsite where the death occurred and adjacent campsites are closed. Elkmont Campground remains open.  

The National Weather Service has warned thunderstorms and damaging winds could crop up throughout the week in East Tennessee. Flash floods are possible across the region through Saturday.