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Tragedy as girl, 11, is electrocuted in pool after power line falls nearby

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  • Lauren Cecil was in the pool with two other girls when the line fell Tuesday
  • The two girls climbed out at the concrete edges but Lauren used a metal ladder - and was immediately electrocuted
  • Investigation underway to determine was caused line to snap

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 16:30 EST, 17 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:51 EST, 17 July 2013

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An 11-year-old girl has been fatally electrocuted during a swimming practice after a power line fell near the pool, sending an electric current through the water.

Lauren Cecil was in the pool with two other girls at Brookside Swim Club in Lexington, North Carolina at 8pm on Tuesday when a nearby powerline inexplicably fell in the parking lot.

Julie Rhodes, the president of the club, said that she was standing by the pool with several parents - including Lauren's mother - and a fellow coach when they heard 'a big pop'.

'We looked up and the wire had fallen,' she told Fox 8. 'It landed across our parking lot and a big puff of smoke came up.'

Tragic: Lauren Cecil, pictured with her parents, has died after becoming electrocuted by a fallen powerline while swimming in a pool. The 11-year-old was her parents' only child

Tragic: Lauren Cecil, pictured with her parents, has died after becoming electrocuted by a fallen powerline while swimming in a pool. The 11-year-old was her parents' only child

'I sent the boys to check on the line and make sure it wasn't hitting anything and had told the three girls to get out of the pool,' she added to The Dispatch. 'They mentioned that the water felt weird. Two of them jumped out of the side of the pool, but Lauren grabbed the ladder.'

The two other girls climbed out of the pool using the concrete sides, but Lauren went for the metal ladder, Rhodes told Fox 8.

'It looked like a big shock went through her,' Rhodes said.

Three lifeguards ran to her aid, but they struggled to help her because the electricity continued to shock them as they tried to pull her from the water.

Eventually the team put a body board beneath her to keep her head up and scoop her out. After a few minutes, the current weakened and they were able to pull her out and perform CPR.

Loss: Lauren loved fishing and swimming and had been part of her local club for four years

Loss: Lauren loved fishing and swimming and had been part of her local club for four years

Loved: Lauren, pictured with her parents, suffered the shock when she climbed out of the pool using the metal stairs. Two other girls in the pool avoided being hurt as they climbed out the sides

Loved: Lauren, pictured with her parents, suffered the shock when she climbed out of the pool using the metal stairs. Two other girls in the pool avoided being hurt as they climbed out the sides

Emergency responders arrived after 10 minutes and continued CPR while rushing her to hospital, but Lauren - who was her parents' only child - was pronounced dead on arrival.

No one else was hurt in the incident.

County and city officials are no investigating what caused the line to snap. Rhodes said she does not know the cause.

'No storms, no wind,' she said. 'Nothing that we could tell whatsoever… It was just out of the blue… It seemed just fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.'

She added that Lauren, who had been on the team for three or four years, took part in practice nearly every night and loved being part of the club.

She was a 'very happy girl,' Rhodes said. 'She just seemed like a great all-around girl.'

Scene: Staff ran to her aid at the Swim Club but were unable to help her due to the electrical current

Scene: Staff ran to her aid at the Swim Club but were unable to help her due to the electrical current

No explanation: The downed powerline is seen nearby; investigations are underway into why it fell

No explanation: The downed powerline is seen nearby; investigations are underway into why it fell

A relative paid tribute to Lauren on Facebook on Wednesday, sharing a photograph of her and writing: 'We know god has very special plans for you Lauren... We love you sweetheart..!!!!'

An obituary added: 'Lauren was a child who was loved as much as any child in this world could be loved. Lauren was sunshine to her family and had a unique love for her family and friends.'

Lexington Mayor Newell Clark wrote on Twitter: 'As a community we are heartbroken and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cecil family due to this horrible tragedy.'

Officials said that the pool will be closed until further notice.

'We'll be looking at all aspects of this,' said Brad Needham, Davidson County fire marshal. 'Why the line fell, how the pool got energized.'

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