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A Sad Story...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
From the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis, MN

Red Wing boy, 10, killed in collapse of hill

Associated Press

Published Jun 20, 2002

A 10-year old boy from Red Wing died after a sandy hillside gave way, trapping him beneath several feet of sand.

Jacob Christiansen and two other Red Wing boys, ages 14 and 16, had spent much of the day Wednesday playing on the hillside at an excavation site, Red Wing Public Safety Director Rick Rabenort said today.

The boys apparently had attached a rope at the top of the hill, which Rabenort said could be described as a cliff. They spent several hours sliding down the sand, using the rope to pull themselves back up.

Shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, however, a portion of the hill began to collapse, Rabenort said, pouring sand on all three.

As the boys tried to extricate themselves, more sand rained down. Christiansen was buried in up to 10 feet of sand, and the 16-year-old's legs were partially covered. The 14-year-old was able to run to a nearby residence to notify authorities.

The first rescue workers on the scene extricated the 16-year-old, who provided a general idea of where Christiansen was buried, Fire Capt. Dan Simonson said.

Rabenort said they got down on their hands and knees to dig for Christiansen, but as they dug, more sand fell. They also used shovels and, eventually, a backhoe to free the boy, but he had been buried for 60 to 70 minutes.

The few minutes from when they found Christiansen to when they freed him ``seemed like an eternity'' to rescuers, Rabenort said.

The boys were taken to Fairview Red Wing Medical Center. Christiansen was pronounced dead at 10:44 p.m. The 14-year-old was treated and released. The 16-year-old was kept overnight for observation.

Christiansen is the son of Gregory and Cheryl Christiansen.

The area is privately owned, Rabenort said. The hill may have been made unstable by rain earlier in the day, he added.

The rescue workers took the boy's death hard, Rabenort said.

``They thought of their own families and their own children,'' he said.
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
This was the lead story on all the local news broadcasts today. They showed the area where this took place. It is a large area, but they mentioned a gate so it is at least partially fenced in.

This story upset me because I am a parent and it happened in my own state, instead of thousands of miles away. Maybe it will be different for others.
post #3 of 5
Lorie - a tragedy is a tragedy no matter where it happens. This is definitely a tragedy. How horrible for the parents and the rescue workers. My heart goes out to them all.
post #4 of 5
Lorie, That is heartbreaking. How upset and frustrated those workers must have been. God bless the family and all those involved.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, I feel so sorry for everyone who was involved in this accident, especially the family of the 10 year old.

According to an article I read this morning, various kids have played in that area before without ever having any problems. The RedWing Police are now investigating to determine exactly how the accident happened and what can be done to prevent a similiar tragedy from happening in the future. The article also said that the rescue workers were so upset over the death of the 10 year old that stress counselors had to be called in.
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