ATLANTA - A 5-year-old North Carolina boy has died from injuries he received at a rotating restaurant 72 stories above Downtown Atlanta. Charlie Holt was bleeding from the head, according to emergency officials, as he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
"The family asks for prayers and privacy right now to come to terms with this tragedy," said a family spokesperson. "No words can express their loss. If you have a loved one, please give them an extra hug today."
The initial cause of death was ruled a "crush injury of the head and brain," according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner. The manner of death was ruled an "accident" by the medical examiner as well.
“The family was visitors to our city. They were up enjoying one of our favorite attractions, the restaurant and just things went horribly wrong,” said Sgt. Warren Pickard, Atlanta Police Department.
Firefighters were called out to the Sun Dial at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel around 3:30 p.m. Investigators said Holt was pinned between the rotating portion of the restaurant and the stationary portion.
“The child was in the restaurant having lunch with his family and doing what small children do, the child's 5 years old,” said Sgt. Pickard. “He wandered away from the table and was somehow able to get lodged in between the rotating floor and the wall and the table.”
It took rescue crews about 30 minutes to free Holt from a 4-inch gap along the line of rotation.
“What we do know is that people in the restaurant, everyone ran to the child's aid. Pulling furniture, turning over tables, trying to administer first aid, but just want not successful in saving the child's life,” said Sgt. Pickard.
Officials said Holt was bleeding from the head. Medics rushed the child to an area hospital where the boy later died.
"We know it was a very tragic incident,” said Sgt. Pickard.
Police said the family was visiting Atlanta from the Charlotte area.
On Saturday, the Hotel Manager at Westin Peachtree Plaza, George Reed, released a statement.
"There was a tragic accident at the hotel involving a young boy," Reed's statement says. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. As soon as we learned of the accident, we immediately responded until emergency personnel arrived. We are working with the authorities as they look into this tragic accident and we will continue to assist them in any way we can. Words cannot express the depths of our sorrow. Our thoughts remain with the family."