Tourists learn more about Bardstown bourbon collapse

Tourists learn more about Bardstown bourbon collapse
Visitor Jon Gunnells said the structure was "pretty enormous." (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Visitor Jon Gunnells said the structure was "pretty enormous." (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The cleanup continues after a building with around 9,000 barrels of bourbon inside collapsed at a Bardstown distillery Friday.

Officials said Friday it's still unclear why the building collapsed, but on Saturday, visitors were welcomed back for tours in other similar parts of the 1792 Brand distillery.

"You get to walk through and see how many barrels are in there and how something like that could've happened," Visitor Jon Gunnells said. "It's a pretty enormous structure."

Gunnells, who traveled from the Detroit area to visit bourbon country, said he learned about the collapse while already set out on his road trip, including the fortunate news that despite the devastating damage, nobody was hurt.

Gunnells said that fate of workers, who had recently been in the building, was discussed on the tour.

"The tour guide told us that the crew was unloading the building, and that they went to lunch and after they went to lunch it actually collapsed," Gunnell said. "So, I guess they're pretty lucky that everybody was out of the building."

Half of the building was still standing with bourbon barrels visible from the perimeter of the distillery Saturday. Emergency response teams were also seen leaving the facility, but it's unclear if their presence was related to the collapse.

Officials said they are not yet sure how badly the barrels were damaged, but it's possible some could be salvaged.

Gunnells said he thinks a future special batch of bourbon related to the incident is something he could see happening.

"I'm sure that's going to happen," Gunnells said. "It's probably going to be going for five times as all the rest of their bourbons."

Even if that's true, Gunnells said he got a free taste Saturday, not only of bourbon, but the spirit that goes into making it too.

WAVE 3 News reached out to first responders for an update Saturday, but has yet to hear back about their progress.

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