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02 March 2024

2-year-old girl dies after temporary walls fall in mall store


Police say a 2-year-old died after two temporary steel walls toppled onto her as she played at a suburban Chicago mall.

Orland Park’s police chief told reporters Wednesday that Alexandra Martinez had been playing with four siblings at an Akira store in Orland Square Mall Tuesday afternoon.

Tim McCarthy said it’s unclear why the 8-foot-high walls, which weighed up to 100 pounds (45.36 kilograms) each, fell on the toddler. He said store video could provide answers. Initial reports said a display fell.

Alexandra was at the mall with her grandmother, aunt and siblings.

She suffered major head injuries. A doctor and nurse at the mall performed CPR, but she died later at a hospital.

Chicago-based Akira said in a statement they’re “devastated by this tragic event.” The mall also offered its “deepest sympathies.”