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Students, Parents Shaken Following St. Paul Park Tragedy

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Parents ran into a St. Louis Park elementary school “sick and heartbroken” Wednesday following a gravel slide that authorities say left one fourth-grader dead, two others injured and one missing.

And now, a makeshift memorial for two students is growing outside the school after the field trip took a tragic turn.

One Peter Hobart Elementary student said he was there when his classmates were caught in the slide that took place at St. Paul’s Lilydale Park.

“I was in the spot where it happened, and I almost got buried, too,” said Lucas, with tears in his eyes. “I moved back a little and it missed.”

Mother Sarah Powers said she got a comforting call from the district that said, “I want to let you know Liberty is OK, but there was an accident.”

Other parents missed the district’s call and came running to the school to check on their children.

“I’m sick and heart broken because it’s someone she might know,” Powers said.

The ground at the park, authorities said, is soft from days of rain. The slide created a hole, which then filled with water. The conditions made rescue efforts difficult, and one firefighter was injured when a rock fell on his head.

The two injured fourth-graders are at Regions Hospital. Crews are on the scene, still searching for the missing child.

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