500 sick after potential E. coli outbreak at Gatlinburg, Tennessee zip line site


Hundreds of people reported developing a gastrointestinal illness after visiting a popular zip line site in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the Tennessee Department of Health recently conducted a survey to find out whether visitors became sick after visiting CLIMB Works, WVLT News reported. Investigators sent out questionnaires to 2,901 people who booked zip line tours at the attraction, and 808 replied. 

Of the responses, 548 reported illnesses. The participants said they experienced symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, which are all associated with gastrointestinal illness. 

Upon further analysis, scientists determined that many of the visitors drank well water served out of coolers placed along the zip line course. When the water was tested, several samples were positive for E. coli and total coliforms. 

>> Related: E. coli bacteria: How you get it, how to protect 

CLIMB Works launched its own investigation earlier this month after 80 to 100 people called the business to report symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after visiting the site, according to WVLT News. Several even posted on the  company’s Facebook page about their illnesses. 

>> Related: Georgia man sues restaurant, says daughters got E. coli 

CLIMB Works has now begun serving bottled water after health officials advised against using the well water. A treatment system has also been installed as investigations continue.

The company is offering visitors who experienced sickness full refunds.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Boy shot in head with BB gun speaks, eats for first time since incident
Boy shot in head with BB gun speaks, eats for first time since incident

A Florida boy has uttered his first words since suffering brain damage from a BB gun shot to the head. Elijah Hill, 12, continues to improve each day. “A week and a half ago, my baby was fighting for his life. Just look at him now,” said Ashantae Hill. Monday, the 12-year-old ate on his own for the first time since he was shot by another...
Man walks nearly 20 miles to get to job after car breaks down, boss gives him his own vehicle
Man walks nearly 20 miles to get to job after car breaks down, boss gives him his own vehicle

A man in Alabama no longer has to walk where he needs to go.  Walter Carr was all set to start a new job with Bellhops Moving, but his car broke down. Instead of calling off, or borrowing a set of wheels, he started walking, starting at midnight, to get to the job nearly 20 miles away, WBMA reported. Pelham police officers saw him walking...
Mom accused of having sex with son's 15-year-old friend, giving them weed and alcohol
Mom accused of having sex with son's 15-year-old friend, giving them weed and alcohol

A Tennessee woman has been charged with statutory rape after police say she had sex with a 15-year-old boy.  According to the arrest affidavit, Melissa Lumpkin of Arlington had some of her son's friends over after a football game in 2016. The victim told police that Lumpkin gave him and three other boys alcohol and marijuana, which she drank...
Costco removes Polish hot dogs from its food court menu, Sam’s Club resurrects the fan favorite
Costco removes Polish hot dogs from its food court menu, Sam’s Club resurrects the fan favorite

If Costco won’t serve the Polish hot dog at its food court, then Sam’s Club will.  Costco announced last week that it was pulling the Polish hot dog, or kielbasa, along with other food court favorites from its menu, giving the space to healthier food like acai bowls, The Washington Post reported. Hot dog fans were up in arms over it...
Seagull steals man's wallet, flees to rooftop; here's how volunteers got it back
Seagull steals man's wallet, flees to rooftop; here's how volunteers got it back

A man's wallet was stolen by an unlikely thief last week in Massachusetts. According to The Associated Press, the man was walking down Main Street in Gloucester on Friday when a seagull swiped his wallet, which was sitting on top of a pizza box he was carrying. >> Read more trending news  The gull retreated to a nearby rooftop, where volunteers...
More Stories