Fire chief: Teen dead, child rescued after accident at Transylvania County waterfall

The scene at the Gorges State Park Visitor Center on Wednesday, where crews are responding to a reported incident. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A teenage girl, from Charlotte, has died and another child rescued after a waterfall accident in Transylvania County, fire officials say.

Katie Hall with North Carolina State Parks said the 16-year-old went over Rainbow Falls in the Pisgah National Forest around noon Wednesday.

Lake Toxaway fire rescue chief Carmon West said another child was with the teen at the time of the incident, but was rescued by family.

"This water is very dangerous," he added. "You need to look at waterfalls from the bottom. You’re not gonna look at it from the top. When you go up over the top, you’re done."

Hall said recovery efforts could take time due to the volume and speed of the water, the terrain, and the distance to the falls.

The name of the victim has not been released.

This is the second incident at Rainbow Falls in two weeks. Authorities said John Shaffer, of Charleston, South Carolina, died on June 23 after going over the waterfall.

"This makes number three in this county already this year," said Chief West. "As I've said in the past, this is wearing thin on my patience. It seems like I'm up here every week for a waterfalls accident."


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