Rescuers were unable to save two small children who became trapped underground after a dirt wall from a construction site where they were playing collapsed on top of them.
The bodies of 6-year-old Chloe Jade Arwood and her cousin James Levi Caldwell, 7, were found at the bottom of a 24-foot-deep pit on Monday morning, more than 12 hours after they were first trapped underground.
Rescuers worked through the night to try and reach the children, an official with the Lincoln County Emergency Management Services office said.
Emergency management officials said one of the children's fathers called 911 shortly before 6 pm Sunday and said the children were trapped in a basement under construction near their grandparents' home.
Dion Burleson, public information officer for Lincoln County Emergency Management, told NBC Charlotte that the 75 rescue workers used whatever means they could to try and reach the children before it was too late.
"There are calls at times like this happen where we are not able to make a difference because it's outside of our realm," Burleson told NBC Charlotte, choking up slightly.
"This is one of those cases, and it's devastating to not only to the family, but each and every one of the responders that is out here."