Troopers: Snow Causes Roof Collapse In Ellendale, 12-Year-Old Girl Trapped

Delaware State Police is investigating a roof collapse of a chicken house, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Heather Pepper.

Pepper said on January 4, 2022, at approximately 3:10 p.m., Delaware State Police were dispatched to the 17000 block of Maple Branch Road in Ellendale for a reported structure collapse.

The investigation determined at approximately 3:00 p.m., several children and two adults were working in the chicken houses located on the property. When all individuals entered one of the chicken houses, a 17-year-old male observed the food and water lines sagging. He began telling everyone inside to get out just as the roof collapsed.

The 17-year-old male, a 14-year-old girl, a 20-year-old woman, and an adult male all escaped the collapse without injury. Two young females, 12 and 11 did not make it out in time according to Pepper.

Shortly after the collapse, the 17-year-old and the adult male began digging through the debris. The 12-year-old was located pinned under the collapsed roof. They were able to safely remove her from the collapsed chicken house. She was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital in stable condition. The 11-year-old girl was not trapped in the debris, however, she was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital, where she was discharged after being medically cleared.

This case remains under investigation by Delaware State Police Troop 4 Criminal Investigations Unit, but preliminary findings indicate the roof collapse resulted from snow on the roof, said Pepper.

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