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Hope chest in Massachusetts children's death was part of recall


A banner with the likeness of butterflies is attached to a stake in front of a home Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, in Franklin, Mass., where authorities say a brother and sister under age 10 have died after apparently getting trapped inside a hope chest. Police responded to the Franklin home at about 8 p.m. Sunday after other family members found the children together inside the chest that could only be opened from the outside. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (AP)

The company that manufactured the hope chest that two Franklin children were trapped in has confirmed that they recalled chests manufactured from 1912 until 1986 because children could get trapped inside, reported.

The chest that Lexi and Sean Munroe were stuck in, and eventually died in, was made in 1939.

"Through investigation we have confirmed that this hope chest was manufactured by the Lane Furniture Company of Altavista, Virginia, on July 13, 1939," District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said. "As has been publicized through that company, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and more recently in the media, that company recalled hope chests manufactured from 1912 until 1986 specifically because young children could become trapped inside and asphyxiated."

Other companies make similar chests, so people are urged to check their hope chests or similar types of furniture.

"We would urge anyone who has any kind of chest, hope chest or piece of this type to examine it with new eyes," Morrissey said.

Family members found the children together inside the chest, which had a lid that could be opened only from the outside. Police responded to the home in Franklin about 8 p.m. ET Sunday, and the children were taken to hospitals but did not survive.

David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, said multiple family members, including an adult, were in the house at the time. He would not say whether the adult was a parent of the children.

The Munroe family bought the chest secondhand a decade ago. The chest was located in one of the bedrooms in the family home.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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