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2 children die in Northern California hillside collapse

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Two children died Thursday after they became caught in a hillside collapse in Northern California, authorities said.

The two children, who were identified only as juveniles, were at a campground area north of Shasta Dam, located about 225 miles north of San Francisco, when the rocks and debris broke away from a hillside near a drainage culvert.

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The children then fell from the hill to a river below.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office said in a statement it was notified of the incident at about 9 a.m., and at its request water releases from the dam were temporarily reduced to aid in the recovery effort.

"Both juveniles were found in the debris and had suffered injuries during the fall and they were pronounced deceased at the scene," the office said.

The bodies of the victims are to be transported to the Shasta County Coroner's Office for post-mortem examinations, the sheriff's office said, adding that the names of the children were not to be released at this time.

Members of the sheriff's office search and rescue team and dive team, along with assets from multiple other agencies, were involved in the response, it said.

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"The Shasta County Sheriff's Office and allied agencies extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims," the office said in a separate statement.

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