River Sweeps 5 Children To Their Deaths

The rushing Meramec River swept five children to their deaths during a church outing, authorities said Monday.

A sixth child was rescued and remained hospitalized, said Becky Haskamp, a dispatcher for the Missouri State Water Patrol.

The body of the final victim was recovered around 6 a.m. Monday, about 12 hours after the children disappeared while wading in the river at Castlewood State Park, southwest of St. Louis, said Haskamp.

Two of the waders were alive when they were pulled from the water, but one died overnight at a hospital, Haskamp said.

All the victims were believed to be under the age of 15. They were members of the St. Louis Dream Center, which was celebrating a volunteer appreciation day with a barbecue and swim in the park.

The Water Patrol got the first call around 6:30 p.m. Sunday night and worked throughout the night to find the victims.

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