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‘Horrifying episode:’ 3-year-old died after falling into grease trap at Tim Hortons restaurant

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A 3-year-old boy died after falling into a restaurant grease trap Monday morning, July 15 in Rochester, New York, police said.

Rochester Police Department Investigator Francis Camp said they believe the boy fell through a plastic lid that gave way, and into the grease trap embedded in the ground outside a Tim Hortons restaurant.

The grease trap was covered with a green plastic lid — much like a manhole cover — that helped it blend into the surrounding grass, he said.

“The lid was on there. It looks like the child ran across it, and it popped open, and he fell into the trap,” he said.

The grease trap is 2 1/2 feet in diameter, according to police.

Camp said a witness found the child in the grease trap minutes after he was reported missing. The witness saw the boy and pulled him from the trap and started administering CPR, Camp said. The boy’s name wasn’t immediately released.

Attempts to revive the boy were unsuccessful, according to Camp.

“We have a horrifying episode here that happened today,” he said. “We’re asked all the time, ‘What’s the worst thing you encounter as a police officer?’ And this is number one.”

The medical examiner’s office told CNN the cause of death would be released in the coming days.

City officials were working to pour concrete around the opening in the ground where the grease trap was located, and put a metal lid on it, according to Camp.

CNN reached out to the NY Buildings Administrative Enforcement Unit to ask if this location’s grease interceptor was up to code.

Tim Hortons provided CNN with the following statement:

“What occurred today was a tragedy, and on behalf of the Tim Hortons family, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young boy who passed away. Tim Hortons is fully cooperating with authorities. As there is an ongoing police investigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

Camp said police would be following up with the district attorney’s office, OSHA, and the medical examiner’s office.

A 3-year-old child died in Auburn, Alabama, after falling into a grease pit in October 2017 while on a family outing at an ice cream shop.

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