Chicago, Illinois: A 12-year-old girl died in suburban Chicago after a snow fort she built with another girl collapsed on top of them while her parents attended church services, authorities said.
The Cook County medical examiner identified the girl as Esther Jung of Elk Grove Village. She dug a snow bank close to Rothem Church in Arlington Heights with a 9-year-old girl while her parents attended services inside the building Sunday, WLS-TV reported.
The girl’s father, a pastor at the church, told authorities that the adults found the collapsed fort about an hour later and called for help. The second girl, identified by the Arlington Heights Daily Herald as Sophia Shin, 9, was treated for hypothermia and is expected to recover.
“She cried out, ‘Help me. Help me,’ but nobody heard it,” Sophia’s great-uncle, Jae Kim, told reporters Monday morning.
Officials said Esther was in full cardiac arrest and emergency personnel arrived and transported her to Northwest Community Hospital. Doctors pronounced her dead after she arrived, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Arlington Heights Sgt. Charles Buczynski called the incident “a tragic accident.”
Esther attended Collins Elementary School in Schaumburg as a sixth grader. The school’s principal spoke with the her family Monday and offered any resources they might need, Terri McHugh, a spokeswoman for Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, said.