Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shreveport Times-Six Teens Die In Red River Sinkhole

Douglas Collier/The Times
(story reported by Loresha Wilson)

Six teens drowned late Monday after disappearing into a sinkhole on the Red River, leading to a tragedy that Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford called the worst he's ever seen.

Family members told authorities the victims, between the ages of 13 and 18 from three families, didn't know how to swim and were wading in shallow water. They had been in the lake for about 10 minutes near the sandbar at the Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park

They had one life vest.

"One child ventured off into an area that he was unfamiliar with, and some of the other children had gone off with him," Crawford said. "They went into the vicinity of an 18-foot sinkhole. ... And once one started toppling into that sinkhole grabbing a hold of another, trying to save another, eventually seven were pulled into the hole."

A bystander jumped into the water and rescued a 15-year-old, but the other six went under and never resurfaced. The sixth body was recovered nearly three hours later, in water that authorities said was between 18-feet and 25-feet deep.

(click here to read the full story in the Shreveport Times)

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