Tags: children | die | hope | chest

2 Children Die in Hope Chest That Could Only Open From Outside

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 08:23 AM

Massachusetts police investigating the case of the two children who died after getting locked in a hope chest over the weekend are trying to determine whether a manufacturing defect in the wooden trunk led to the tragic accident.

Officers responded to a Franklin home late Sunday night after receiving reports that two young children had gotten stuck in a hope chest and were unconscious and not breathing. The victims, 7-year-old Sean and 8-year-old Lexi Munroe, were rushed to a nearby hospital, but attempts to revive the siblings failed, according to MyFoxBoston.com.

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A spokesperson with the Norfolk County District Attorney's office told reporters that the deaths appear to be accidental. The children were reportedly playing in a bedroom when they got inside the hope chest, which could only be opened from the outside. One of their parents was home at the time, but only discovered that Sean and Lexi were missing when the other parent returned home and went to round up the Munroe family's five children.

The hope chest was an older model manufactured by Lane Furniture, which the family said they purchased used more than a decade ago. According to MyFoxBoston.com, Lane issued a recall for 12 million of its wooden trunks in 1996 when the company received reports that six children had suffocated after getting locked inside the automatic-closing container.

It's not clear whether the Munroe family's hope chest was included in the recall, but it covered all Lane cedar chests made between 1912 and 1987.

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