Update: The 3 year old child who was killed by a security door in an Italian ice shop in Philadelphia has been identified as Wynter Larkin of Yeadon, FOX 29 reports.
The girl was with her mother at a fundraiser in the shop for a sorority and fraternity on Saturday when she was hit and trapped by a falling great at Rita’s Water Ice store, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Philly.com reports that the girl was killed when the security grate suddenly became detached and fell.
“To see her laying there, lifeless, you can’t imagine,” said witness Tracey Stanford told Fox 29.
“I was walking in the door when I heard the boom,” Stanford added. “And I came out. And all we could hear was yelling and screaming.”
People in the shop tried to help but it was of no avail. She was eventually freed from the grate but she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Hahnemann University Hospital.
Police said that members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity heroically rushed to get the girl out from under the grate and give her CPR,.
“It took about 20 to 30 men to get that awning off of the baby,” witness Tracey Stanford told KYW-TV. “When they finally got it up off of her, she was just lying there, lifeless.”
The Italian ice shop was not in violation of any permitting laws. Carlton Williams, commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said the store had no open violations and there were no problems reported with the shop’s security gate.
“The Department of Licenses and Inspections will only inspect these gates upon report of a complaint of an apparent defect,” Williams said, noting that property owners are responsible for their maintenance, care and inspection.
Police Inspector Christine Coulter said investigators will be looking at other shops in the area to make sure that there are no potential safety issues with security gates.
The tragic scene showed incongruous images of pink balloons underneath the security gate which is typically rolled up after a business closes to prevent burglaries.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the child’s family,” said Linda Duke, a spokeswoman for Rita’s Italian Ice, the shop’s parent company. “Due to the current investigation we really cannot comment about the unfortunate incident.”
A neighbor of the girl’s family, Ron Walters told Fox 29, “I’m numb. I was numb then, and I’m numb now
“Such a wonderful family. Blessed to have them next door to me, ok?” he said. “I hope they can get through this.”
Philadelphia police say they could recall no previous incidents of a security door falling and injuring anyone.