Louisiana Town Grieves Over Teens Drowning in Bayou

August 3, 2010  |  

Two families from the bayou are in mourning as six teenagers drowned in the Red River in the northwest region of Louisiana on Tuesday after they stepped into a shallow 18-foot sinkhole Monday, according to MSNBC.

Fire officials claim that the victims, aged 13 to 18, drowned while some reached out to save each other. And the only survivor was a 14-year-old child who was rescued by the emergency crews. Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford reported that emergency crews recalled an individual drowning in the river before 6:30pm; located south of the area in Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park. Within 10 minutes, fire officials spotted multiple victims in the sinkhole.

For over an hour, search teams from the Shreveport and Bossier fire departments as well as members of the Caddo Parish sheriff’s office searched the river for bodies until they came upon the first body. Around 10:30 p.m., all bodies were discovered. That of five boys and a girl drowned, the Shreveport Times reported.

Marilyn Robinson who witnessed the incident claimed that the children beckoned for help.

“None of the us swim,” said the 38-year-old woman. “They were yelling ‘help me, help me. Somebody please help me.’ It was nothing I could do but watch them drown one by one.”

Another witness, Louise Edwards, cried as she recalled: “It was hard watching them and not being able to help. Some people tried to jump in, but they were already gone. It’s like a nightmare. Lord please help us, please.” Crawford was noticeably stricken with grief by the turn of events as he announced the deaths of the children. “I can honestly say that in my 26 years of service I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude. And I hope I never see it again.” “Its truly catastrophic and I can only imagine to the effect it has on the families,” he added.

Read the rest of the story at MSNBC.com

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