ST. PAUL, Minn. - The body of a missing 4th grader from St. Louis Park has been recovered from a collapse area at the bottom of a bluff by St. Paul search crews.
The child, identified by family members as 10-year-old Mohamed Fofana, was among four youngsters that plunged off a 30-foot bluff after the ground gave way during a school field trip Wednesday.
One of the other three students, identified by fire officials as 9-year-old Haysem Sani, also died in the collapse while two were injured and will survive. One of those boys is at home recovering while the other is hospitalized in serious condition.
St. Paul Assistant Fire Chief Jim Smith says crews were able to recover Fofana's body in a short period of time Thursday due to improved weather conditions, more daylight and the fact that fire hoses used Wednesday night cleared much of the mud and sediment from the recovery site.
At an afternoon news conference fire officials said the bodies of the two boys who died were found just four feet from each other. Both victims were buried under 4 to 5 feet of soil and rock, a tremendous amount of weight that would make it difficult if not impossible to escape from.
Park officials say the fossil area of Lilydale Park will be immediately closed and no permits will be granted.
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