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Three charged for skydiving into cooling tower

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

Three people were arrested for participating in extreme sports, skydiving, at the cooling tower located at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) abandoned Hartsville Nuclear plant site which borders the Dixon Springs community.

The individuals were using what was termed as a “power glider” to fly over the cooling tower and parachute down into the massive concrete structure which is hollow inside.

The three were arrested for trespassing on federal property.

Meanwhile, the incident raises serious safety concerns.

Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell says the incident was not uncommon and individuals had also been caught repelling from the structure which is several stories high, towering over the nearby landscape.

Those known to participate in this type of extreme sports of skydiving are often experienced, travel great distances to reach a specific destination and may study the site in order to formulate a plan for their jump.

Two of the individuals were from Pennsylvania and one was from Chattanooga, Sheriff Russell said.

The power glider took off from the Scanty Branch area which is in Trousdale County near the Smith County line, the sheriff said.

The power glider was first spotted by emergency personnel, dispatched to a fire alarm sounding in the PowerCom Industrial Park, located off Highway 25 on the west side of  the former nuclear plant site. 

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