A 5-year-old boy from North Carolina was killed Friday after sustaining head injuries after becoming pinned between a wall and the floor at a popular Atlanta rotating restaurant.
According to WXIA, Atlanta police confirmed the boy was injured at the Sun Dial restaurant at the top of the Weston hotel at Peachtree Plaza, a popular tourist destination.
The incident occurred around 3:20 p.m., police confirm.
Warren Pickard, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department, said the boy and his family were enjoying lunch while on vacation from Charlotte, North Carolina, when the tragedy occurred.
The boy reportedly wandered off from his parents and was caught between a rotating portion of the floor and the wall, and sustained fatal head injuries. The space in which the boy was caught was not more than four to five inches, police said.
Pickard said the boy simply wandered off and was not more than four or five feet away from his parents when he became trapped between the wall and the rotating floor.
“We simply think he lost sight of his parents and panicked and found himself in that situation,” Pickard said. “A small child doesn’t know what to do in those moments, and it crushed his little small body.”
According to Pickard, the floor is equipped with a motion sensor that shuts down the system when it senses that something is trapped. Pickard confirmed that the sensor did shut down the rotating floor, but it was too late for the boy.
Numerous staff and patrons tried in vain to help the child, and then give first aid once he had been freed from the space before first responders arrived.
“The amount of people who were helping was amazing,” Pickard told WXIA. “They were moving furniture, they were pulling chairs — chairs that were bolted to the floor — they were pulling them up to try to get the child out.”
The unconscious boy was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
“It’s very tragic, what has happened today,” Pickard said.
The Atlanta restaurant is a popular tourist destination because of its 360-degree view of the city from the 70th floor.
In a statement, the owner of the restaurant, George Reed, said “words cannot express the depths of our sorrow. Our thoughts remain with the family.”
The restaurant has had its share of tragedies.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a kitchen worker, Carolyn Robinson, 61, died after getting locked in a freezer on March 22, 2016.
“We’re still combing through the video just to make sure that there’s nothing else going on,” Atlanta Police Lt. Charles Hampton said at the time. “She worked in the culinary department of the hotel, so it would appear that she had a reason to be inside the freezer.”
The body of the worker was found the next morning in the freezer of the restaurant after family members said she had not returned home the night before.
Nearly a year ago, a 10-year-old boy died after falling into a pool at the hotel.
Stephen Akinlabi, 10, was attending a birthday party at the hotel’s pool when he nearly drowned. He was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he survived.
Westin general manager Ron Tarson said at the time that thoughts were with the boy’s family.
“We’re deeply saddened by this event and our hearts and thoughts are with this young man and his loved ones,” Tarson said.
Officials said the Sun Dial restaurant will remain closed for the remainder of the weekend.
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