Two young toddlers who snuck out of their home after family members said they were disciplined were hit by a train in Portage, Indiana, Tuesday morning, and one of them was killed, authorities said.
According to Portage Police Chief Troy Williams, a public safety alert was issued just after 10 a.m. after a “train versus juvenile accident on the CSX tracks.”
Officers responded to the scene just south of the Woodland Village Mobile Home Park off of U.S. Hwy 20 and discovered two young siblings had been struck.
Police said a 3-year-old boy was found dead at the scene and a 2-year-old girl had "noticeable injuries but was actively crying." She was airlifted to Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago where her condition was not immediately known.
The children's grandfather said the family lives in a mobile home just feet from the tracks.
Bryan Benson said his grandkids were disciplined just after 9 a.m. and were crying. They had been in the care of Benson, the children's mother and one other person.
A short time after being disciplined, they managed to get out of the home, Benson said. By the time the family went outside to look for them, the train was already stopped.
Police said the kids appeared to have snuck out of a screen door at the home and made their way to the CSX tracks. The conductor said he blew his horn and attempted to brake but was unable to stop in time.
"Our thoughts are with all involved in this tragic incident," a CSX spokesperson told NBC 5. "CSX personnel are at the site with Porter County emergency responders."
"This tragedy undeniably affected the first responders as several were visibly shaken by what occurred but worked through those emotions to provide every possible resource and effort throughout the entire incident," Williams said in a statement.
The train was blocking Willowcreek Road and Portage Avenue following the incident.
Check back for more on this developing story.