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Disasters strike quarry fantasy locations

Dry Creek Quarry, located in Wellington, New Zealand, was the site of a devastating fire at the end of March.

The active quarry, which is operated by Allied Concrete, was the setting of the Helm’s Deep battle scene in the 2002 fantasy feature movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The Two Towers was the second instalment in the film franchise based on English author JRR Tolkien’s best-selling book series.

Multiple media sources indicated the first signs of the blaze were spotted just before 8:30am and raged for more than an hour. Other reports stated that the flames reached 12m high at the fire’s peak and that 16 fire crews responded to the incident.

A quarry worker who called emergency services to the scene was reportedly hospitalised for smoke inhalation but it did not appear anyone else was injured during the incident.

It is believed the fire began in one of the quarry’s portable office buildings but an investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Drama at Castle Black

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly has reported that another quarry that is currently being used as a filming location was recently beset with disaster.

It was said that a rockslide occurred at Northern Ireland’s Magheramorne Quarry, which is the active film set for fantasy television series Game of Thrones’ Castle Black.

Heavy rainfall reportedly disrupted the quarry’s “seismic profile” while the show’s crew was filming the upcoming sixth season.

“A piece of rock the size of a London townhouse just fell,” Owen Teale, one of the show’s actors, was quoted as saying.

Game of Thrones showrunner Dan Weiss was less dramatic. “Once people saw the small pebbles start to come down that turned into slightly larger pebbles, everybody made the group decision to immediately step away from the set,” he stated.

No one was hurt, and Weiss told Entertainment Weekly the rockslide ended up being a boon.

“[The shows’ producers had to] drastically reschedule the whole season on the fly, but they did it, and we got everything we needed in that quarry after it was seismically shored up and netted and proper protection measures were taken,” he said.

“It actually worked out for the best – some of the stuff we were shooting in that location benefited from the additional prep time the rockslide gave us.”

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