Update: 1 child dead, 1 missing in St. Paul park landslide
Update 5:20 p.m.
By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A child on a school field trip was killed and another remained unaccounted after a gravel slide Wednesday in a park popular with children looking for fossils, authorities said. Two other children were injured.
Firefighters who rushed to Lilydale Regional Park had to wade through waist-deep mud and gravel, and use their hands and shovels to get to two trapped children, St. Paul Fire Department spokesman Steve Zaccard said. One child was partially buried and another was completely buried, Zaccard said.
One of those children died, while the other was being treated at a hospital. A third child suffered minor injuries.
A fourth child was missing, but the search was suspended because rain was making conditions too dangerous, Zaccard said.
The children were from Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park, a suburb several miles away, and were in the park as part of a field trip. Zaccard said the children were exploring the park when the slide happened around 1:15 p.m.; the ground had been softened by several days of rain.
The park is atop bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River across from downtown St. Paul. Police cordoned off the area of the slide with security tape, and light rain was falling.
A firefighter also was injured by a falling rock but was expected to recover, Zaccard said.
Michael Rutzick, who lives in nearby Mendota Heights, said the area is popular for school field trips because students can hunt for fossils in the soft sandstone cliffs.
“It's all sandstone. Sandstone and trees,” Rutzick said.
Tammy Olson, who lives two blocks away, was at the scene with her two young nephews Wednesday. She said she never considered the park dangerous.
“I've been here six years and my husband has been here 23. He said there's never been an issue with accidents down there,” Olson said.
This is a breaking news story. See earlier versions of the report below.
Update 4:25 p.m.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Officials say one child is dead and another is unaccounted for after a gravel slide in a St. Paul park.
The children were at the park near the Mississippi River as part of a school field trip when the slide happened early Wednesday afternoon.
Two other children were rescued. Authorities say the ground is soft after several days of rain.
Update 3:30 p.m.: 2 children rescued, 1 sought in St. Paul landslide
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say two children were rescued but one remained unaccounted for after a gravel slide in a St. Paul park.
The children were at Cherokee Park near the Mississippi River as part of a school field trip.
St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard says the children were exploring the park when the slide happened about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. Zaccard says the ground is soft after several days of rain.
The two rescued children were taken to a local hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known. Zaccard says he doesn't know if the missing child wandered off or was still trapped. Rescue efforts are continuing.
The St. Louis Park school district says the children were from Peter Hobart Elementary School and were part of a 4th grade field trip.