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Two Massachusetts Children Perish Within A Hope Chest

An unfortunate incident in the Massachusetts town of Franklin this past Sunday night claimed the lives of two young children, Lexi Monroe, 8, and her brother Sean, 7, had crawled inside a hope chest while playing together, the hope chest had an automatic locking lid and the two children suffocated to death.

Family members were at home at the time and failed to hear the children’s pleas for help over a blaring television.  By the time the children were discovered it was too late.

The Monroe family had purchased the hope chest 12 years ago.

The Lane Company, makers of the most popular hope chests issued a recall in 1996 for 12 million hope chests with automatically locking lids that were manufactured between 1912 and 1987.  They also paid a $900,000 civil fine for not reporting the danger immediately.

Two more recalls of hope chests happened in the years 2000 and 2006.

Mark Massarella of Reynoldsburg, Ohio whose daughter passed away in a similar incident back in 1999 told the Boston Herald this week, ““Nobody ever looks at it as being a death box. They just don’t.  The lid is very, very heavy, and when it closes, it closes hard, and you can’t get out from the inside. It just can happen so fast”.

The Massarella family had gotten the hope chest from a grandmother and were not aware of the danger or the recall.

The odds are that it’s going to happen again and again, because you’re just not going to get the word out to everybody,” Mark Massarella said. “They last forever”.

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