Live Oak, Florida: Authorities in Florida say three young children playing outside climbed into an unplugged chest freezer and died when they couldn’t get out.
The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office says the children, ages 1, 4, and 6, couldn’t be revived when they were found Sunday at a home in Live Oak in north Florida.
Officials say the children lived at the house with two of the children’s grandmother and the other child’s mother. The women were roommates.
The sheriff’s office says in a Facebook post that one of the women went inside to use the restroom and couldn’t find the children upon returning.
The women searched the property and found the children in the freezer.
The sheriff’s office says foul play isn’t suspected. The case will be forwarded for review to prosecutors.
Police and fire and rescue crews were called to the scene as the women tried to perform CPR on the children, but efforts to resuscitate them failed and they were pronounced dead in hospital.
An investigation into the deaths is ongoing, with post-mortems still to be carried out.
So far police have revealed that the freezer was second-hand and had a hasp installed on the lid in order to secure a padlock, which had not yet been fitted.
When the lid slammed shut after the children had climbed in, the hasp fell shut and trapped them inside.
At a press briefing, Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St John said: “Words can’t describe how heartbroken I am.
“Any time you deal with children and something like this and when they die from something like this nature, it just tugs at your heartstrings. Words can’t describe this and the only thing we can do is go forward.”