(NEW YORK) — The Fourth of July turned deadly after three children died in two separate electrocution incidents in Missouri and Tennessee.
Alexandra Anderson, 13, and brother Brayden, 8, were killed while swimming near a private dock in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri around noon Wednesday.
Adults standing on a dock heard screaming and jumped in. Police say those who jumped in felt electricity and cut off power to the dock. The adults immediately began CPR, but it was too late.
Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the electricity could have come from any number of sources.
“Obviously, the lights, lots of times, they have slides and they have pumps that pump water onto those slides so the children can use them,” Reinsch said. “There’s a lot of reasons electricity is on that dock.”
Two hours later, at Cherokee Lake outside Knoxville, Tenn., a 10-year-old was killed and another boy was seriously injured in an eerily similar incident.
“Someone started hollering the kids are getting electrocuted,” witness Betty Hamilton said.
Other witnesses said the boys had been swimming from one house boat to another when they suddenly cried for help.
“We believe that somehow or another, the electricity at this point got into the metal of the boat, and when the children touched the metal ladder to get in, that’s when the electrocution occurred,” Grangier County Sheriff Scott Layel said.
Witness Hamilton said, “People jumped into the water. My son and brother helped get the one little boy out. They gave him CPR and everything. I was comforting the parents the best I could.”
Police say seven other people — four adults and three children — were also injured by the electricity in Cherokee Lake and were taken to area hospitals for medical attention.
Police in Missouri and Tennessee say they are still unsure what energized the lakes.
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David Williams, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN