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12 rescued after Tennessee boat dock collapses during winter storm

12 rescued after Tennessee boat dock collapses during winter storm
© Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

First responders rescued a dozen people in Tennessee on Wednesday night after heavy snow and frigid conditions caused the roof of a boat dock to collapse. 

According to a press release from the Nashville Fire Department, both fire officials and rescue crews from the Office of Emergency Management responded to reports of people trapped under a roof that fell onto multiple houseboats along Blue Turtle Bay Marina in the town of Old Hickory, about 20 miles southwest of Nashville. 

The fire department said that upon arriving at the scene, those trapped within the 100-yard dock were not accessible by foot, forcing emergency personnel to launch rescue boats. 

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First responders rescued 12 people, with the fire department noting that several of the houseboats were taking on water or sinking. 

Authorities reported no injuries or hospitalizations.

Fire department officials told Nashville’s ABC affiliate station, WKRN-TV, that while the boat docks are designed to move with the water, ice and snow from the winter storm caused the dock to jam and eventually start sinking, ultimately prompting the roof to collapse. 

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The Thursday press release added that the Coast Guard is conducting further investigations of the scene, and that all boaters are encouraged to not go out on the water until the weather improves. 

“Accidents risk boater’s life and property, but also endanger the personnel that respond to these types of incidents,” the fire department wrote. 

Tennessee is just one of several states across the country being battered by severe weather this week, with millions of people facing power outages, heavy snow and freezing temperatures. 

The Associated Press reported Thursday that at least 36 people have died in states impacted by the storm, with most attributed to traffic accidents as people attempt to travel on messy and icy roads. 

The second most common cause of death has been carbon monoxide poisoning after people used vehicles or generators to keep warm in low temperatures amid the power outages.

A grandmother and three children were killed in a Texas house fire that officials said likely spread from their fireplace, and another three people died after falling through ice in a pond in Tennessee.