ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A 3-year-old boy was killed Monday after falling into a grease trap outside a restaurant on Rochester's east side.
Rochester Police Department Investigator Francis Camp said that the boy fell through a plastic lid embedded in the ground and landed in the trap behind a Tim Hortons.
Camp said that police received a call about a child missing from the location at 10:56 a.m. Minutes later, they received another call that the child had been located.
Witnesses removed the child from the grease trap and administered CPR until first responders arrived. Employees were seen crying outside and consoling each other after the child was taken away by ambulance.
Camp said that the child, who was not identified, could not be revived and was pronounced dead at Strong Memorial Hospital. He would not say whether the child was related to an employee or a customer at the restaurant.
"This is a horrible, unimaginable, unspeakable tragedy," Camp said.
Evidence led police to believe that the boy fell through a plastic lid into a tank that contained used grease in a liquified form, Camp said. It was just 6 feet from the restaurant's back door.
Investigators have not yet determined the size of the grease trap, which is typically a steel tank used to keep fats, oils, and grease out of the sanitary sewer system.
"Rest assured that before the Rochester Police Department leaves the scene, this thing will be secured," Camp said.
Camp was emotional as he discussed the boy's death with members of the press who were assembled nearby.
"This is the worst thing that you can encounter as a police officer," Camp said.
Police cordoned off the parking lot of the Tim Hortons and an adjacent Price Rite grocery store as they conducted their investigation and spoke to potential witnesses.
Police remained on the scene Monday afternoon and the RPD mobile command unit was at the location.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Toddler dies in Rochester, NY after falling into grease trap at Tim Hortons