Friday, August 29 2014 1:50 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:50:07 GMT
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STANLEY, NC (AP/FOX Carolina) -
Investigators in Lincoln County, North Carolina said two young children who were trapped under dirt at a home construction site were found dead early Monday morning.
Emergency crews reported that a wall of dirt at the site collapsed on the 6-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Lincoln County Emergency Management officials said the girl's father called 911 after the collapse.
Officials said crews were on the scene within minutes but couldn't get to the children, who were trapped about 24-feet below the site. Close to 70 rescue personnel worked overnight to free the children, investigators said.
The two victims were cousins, 6-year-old Chloe Jade Arwood and 7-year-old James Levi Caldwell.
Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter said investigators are following up on reports from neighbors that the father was digging the two-story-deep pit for some type of protective bunker.
Lincoln County is about 20 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.