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Children die in hope chest: 2 children found dead in chest while playing

A hope chest -- a very heavy trunk
A hope chest -- a very heavy trunk
Wikimedia Commons

Two children die in a hope chest while playing inside their home in Franklin, Mass. on Jan. 12. According to the New York Daily News, the two children -- siblings both under the age of 10 -- somehow got trapped inside the chest for an undisclosed amount of time. Their parents found them around 8 p.m. and called 911. The children were transported to a local hospital where they both were pronounced dead.

"Several family members were home at the time of the incident. The hope chest was in relatively close proximity to a television that was apparently on with a substantial volume at the time," said David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.

The children died in the hope chest likely due to suffocation. Traub said that the chest could not be opened from the inside and it's possible that the children's screams couldn't be heard through the encompassing wood and over the loud television. This doesn't sound like a case of poor supervision or child neglect. In fact, police say that the family is cooperating and that this incident is being treated as an accident; A terribly tragic accident.

A neighbor said that the two children that died had three other siblings. The other children were extremely upset and comforted by that neighbor who said that all of the children were "well-mannered" and "very well-behaved."

The children that died in the hope chest will undergo autopsies early this week.

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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