2 Children Die After Getting Caught in Debris of Hillside Collapse in California

The children "suffered injuries” during the fall and were pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities

<p>Getty</p> Lake Shasta in California


Lake Shasta in California

Two children have died after they were caught in a hillside collapse in California on Thursday.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office shared in a news release on social media that its officers responded to a campground area north of Shasta Dam at around 9 a.m. local time after getting a report that two children had “fallen from the camping area to the river.”

Upon arrival, they determined that “rocks and debris had broken away from a hillside” and the two children had been caught in the debris and had “fallen down the hillside.” Officers located the children in the debris and noted that they had “suffered injuries” during the fall. They were pronounced dead at the scene, per the release.

Members of the sheriff’s office search and rescue team, dive team, boating safety unit and other agencies responded to the scene to aid in the recovery of the two children.

Police said their bodies were then transported to the Shasta County Coroner’s Office for “post-mortem examinations.” The names of the children are not being released at this time.

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The area where the children fell had been located “downstream” from the Shasta Dam, according to police, and the sheriff’s office had asked the Bureau of Reclamation to lower the water releases from the dam in order to help with search and recovery efforts.

Non-essential vehicle traffic across the dam was also halted so that agency vehicles could make their way through the area.

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The Shasta County Sheriff's Office did not give any additional information about how the children may have gotten caught in the hillside collapse or what led it. Police said an ongoing investigation is taking place by agencies that helped in the search and rescue, including the California Bureau of Land Management, California Highway Patrol and others.

“All agencies involved send their deepest condolences to the families,” the Shasta County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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Traffic across the dam resumed shortly after 11 a.m. local time and the area was also reopened.

The incident took place after parts of California had seen heavy rainfall earlier this week. The Redding and the Shasta area had recorded more than four inches of rainfall by Wednesday, according to NBC News. However, authorities did not say if this played a role in the hillside collapse.

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