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Posted: June 29, 2014

3-year-old killed by falling security gate at ice cream shop

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By John O'Connor

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A Philadelphia fundraiser event turned tragic after a steel security gate detached from an ice cream shop and killed a 3-year-old girl.  

"The little girl is Winter Larkin. A large group was gathered at the Rita's on Girard Avenue in Brewerytown yesterday afternoon when the gate suddenly fell on top of little Winter." (Via WCAU)

Members of the fraternity holding the fundraiser event immediately jumped into action, but the gate was so heavy it took more than 15 minutes to lift off the little girl. (Via WPVI)

Tracey Stanford, witness: "They could not get the awning off of the baby. It took about 20 to 30 men to get that awning off of the baby. When they finally got it off of her, she was just laying there lifeless." (Via KYW)

She was immediately taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the incident occurred. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the city has ordered the business be closed until an investigation can be done and the security gate be properly repaired. 

The paper also reports: "Alison Brady, who lives across the street and saw the gate fall, said that some stucco work had been performed on the property recently."

The part that crushed the girl was the large steel portion that stores the rolled-up security gate while the business is open. It reportedly weighs well over 1,000 pounds. (Via WHTM)

A spokesperson for Rita's Ice Water says their "hearts and prayers go out to the child's family", but did not make further comment pending investigation into the incident. Police say there had been complaints about the gate being loose in the past. 

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