12-year-old girl dies after snow fort collapses in Arlington Heights

  • A 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl outside Rothem Church in Arlington Heights.

      A 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl outside Rothem Church in Arlington Heights. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • An Arlington Heights police officer leaves the parking lot of Rothem Church in Arlington Heights, where a 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her.

      An Arlington Heights police officer leaves the parking lot of Rothem Church in Arlington Heights, where a 12-year-old Elk Grove Village girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Search holes remain in a snow bank where a 12-year-old girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl at Rothem Church in Arlington Heights.

      Search holes remain in a snow bank where a 12-year-old girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl at Rothem Church in Arlington Heights. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • A 12-year-old girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl outside Rothem Church in Arlington Heights.

      A 12-year-old girl died Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on her and another girl outside Rothem Church in Arlington Heights. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/21/2019 9:49 AM

A 12-year-old girl died and a 9-year-old was treated for hypothermia Sunday after a snow fort collapsed on top of them outside an Arlington Heights church, authorities said.

Cook County authorities Monday identified the 12-year old as Esther Jung of Elk Grove Village.

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The two girls were attending services with their families at Rothem Church, 106 E. College Drive, when they went outside to play, according to Arlington Heights police.

When they weren't back inside about an hour later, family members started searching for them and found them underneath the snow.

Authorities say the girls had been playing in a snowbank and built a makeshift fort, which then collapsed.

Crews responded to the scene at 2:41 p.m., and the girls were taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. Esther was pronounced dead at 4:30 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. An autopsy is scheduled Monday.

The 9-year-old girl was treated for hypothermia and was being held for observation, officials said.

Police are calling the incident a "tragic accident" and say foul play is not suspected.

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