One of the children's fathers placed an emergency call shortly before 6 p.m. EDT, triggering a rescue effort at the Lincoln County accident scene, but 3 hours later a firefighter said it had become a "recovery" effort, meaning the unidentified children had died, the Denver, N.C. newspaper News@norman reported.
The victims were a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, the newspaper said.
Dion Burleson of Lincoln County Emergency Management said despite rescuers' efforts they were "not able to make a difference this time."
News@norman reported it appeared an earthen wall, perhaps part of a basement under construction, collapsed on the children, trapping them under as much as 20 feet of dirt.
2014: NFL Cheerleaders [PHOTOS]
Autopsy backs Ferguson cop as critics rip leak