A six and seven-year-old died in Stanley, North Carolina Aug. 7 after being buried by thousands of pounds of dirt at a residential construction site. The children were playing in a 24-foot deep pit when the sides collapsed on them.
The children who died were 6-year-old Chloe Jade Arwood of Gastonia and 7-year-old James Levi Caldwell of Stanley. Neighbors told WBTV that the children were cousins.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office told WBTV News that no building permit had been issued for the construction in the 5800 block of Cedarbrook Court. The pit was 24 feet deep, 24 feet long and 20 feet wide. Rescuers worked throughout the night to try to save the children.
Seventy-five rescuers from four counties rushed to the scene. They used shovels and climbing gear to try to dig out the children. The agitated father of one of the children, who was a construction worker at the site, called 911 when he saw the cave-in.
Investigators who held a press conference at the scene said someone had sent the children down into the hole to recover a pick-axe right before the dirt collapsed. However, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release saying the children were playing in the pit when the walls caved in.
A prayer vigil was planned for the evening of April 8 at the Adventure in Faith Church at 415 Charlotte Street in Alexis, North Carolina. Officials continue to investigate the accident.
This tragic accident is a reminder that construction sites are dangerous and are not playgrounds. Officials will investigate to determine who is at fault for the accident. As North Carolina personal injury lawyers, the attorneys of Kelly & West represent individuals and families affected by fatal accidents such as this one.
NOTE: This is a news story reported by WBTV. The families are not clients of Kelly & West.
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