A toddler in Alabama died after falling inside a grease pit at an ice cream shop. The Lee County coroner confirmed that three-year-old Sadie Andrews died of accidental drowning when she fell into the 6ft deep in-ground grease pit at Bruster's Ice Cream in Alabama.
The toddler went missing on Saturday (14 October) at the Auburn ice cream shop and when police arrived an ice cream shop worker was performing CPR on the unconscious girl.
Sadie was taken to East Alabama Medical Centre, where she was pronounced dead.
Surveillance camera video showed the girl playing behind the ice cream shop with two of her siblings when she sunk through a lid covering the deep grease pit. Sadie was stuck in the container between five to 10 minutes before being found, Coroner Bill Harris said.
The family posted a YouCaring page, which has raised more than $13,000 for funeral expenses. On the page, Sadie's uncle Chad Vermillion claimed that she fell through because the wooden lid above the grease pit "turned out to be rotten".
Vermillion also said that the shop's owner may be in trouble for negligence. "Owner's wife asked police when they were going to 'get this all cleaned up so we can reopen for business,'" he wrote.
The owners have not responded to the allegations but shared their condolences on a Facebook post. "Our deepest condolences go to the family of the child who tragically died Saturday," shop owners Lance and Kara Latham wrote.
"They are acquaintances of ours and have been regular customers. We are truly heartbroken that this happened. Our thoughts also are with our young crew member who tried to revive the child. Like all of us, he is quite shaken. The entire Bruster family is horribly saddened by this tragic accident."
The case has been ruled an accidental drowning and no foul play is suspected, WRBL reported. The circumstances surrounding Sadie's death will be presented to a grand jury.