Lilydale Park landslide: 4th grader dead, 2 rescued, 1 missing - FOX 35 News Orlando

Lilydale Park landslide: 4th grader dead, 2 rescued, 1 unaccounted for

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  • Lilydale Park landslide: 4th grader dead, 2 rescued, 1 unaccounted forMore>>

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

One child was killed and another is presumed dead after a gravel slide during a fourth-grade field trip at Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul on Wednesday. Two other children were rescued and taken to area hospitals, one with a fractured ankle and another with serious injuries.

Two groups of fourth-grade students, an estimated 49 in all, were exploring the park as part of field trip for fossils. The students from Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park, Minn., were walking the trails when the ground gave way, officials said.

"A serious accident occurred during a Peter Hobart Elementary School fourth grade field trip to Lilydale Park today," Sara Thompson, communications manager for St. Louis Park Public Schools, said in a statement. "We believe there have been serious injuries. Additional information will be shared as it is available."

Parents gathered at the school after a notification about the accident was sent out. They were gathered into the gymnasium for an update from school officials.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the gravel slide occurred at about 1:15 p.m., adding that one student received a minor injury but the four who fell had been buried by the soil.

The two rescued children were trapped in mud and sand for more than an hour before they were taken to nearby hospitals. One had been buried up to his chest.

Rescue efforts continued Wednesday afternoon for another child who remains unaccounted for; however, Zaccard admitted that search is likely a recovery effort at this point.

Wet conditions in the park made search efforts difficult for rescue crews because water began filling the hole where the collapse occurred.

At about 6:30 p.m., crews brought in portable lights as the daylight hours began to dwindle. Search dogs were also brought in to help later in the evening.

While the search will continue on Thursday morning, officials say they must ensure the area is safe before sending searchers in and have described the soil as having the consistency of motor oil.

The St. Paul Fire Department confirmed the first body was recovered by a rescuer who was waist-deep and digging.

Two St. Paul firefighters were injured during the search. One suffered a head injury after a rock hit him while he was digging, and the other suffered a back injury. Both are now home and expected to recover.

NOTE: Cherokee Park and Lilydale Park have each been referenced as locations of the incident, depending on the source. As you can see by this map (http://goo.gl/SPSG7) the parks run adjacent to each other along the Mississippi River.

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