No one at the store, located in the Brewerytown section of the city, knew how the gate fell. A witness said that when the gate collapsed on the girl, it took 20 or 30 men to pull it off of her. Investigators are looking into safety at the shop.
Via the Associated Press:
The girl was at the Rita's Water Ice store in north Philadelphia where a fundraiser for a sorority and fraternity was underway when she was killed around 4:30 p.m., police and witnesses said.
Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity rushed to the girl's aid to get her out from under the awning and give her CPR, witnesses said. The girl was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and died after arrival.
According to an official at the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the store was not in current violation of any codes and the gate's security was not previously in question.
A spokeswoman for Rita's, Linda Duke, told the AP: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the child's family. Due to the current investigation we really cannot comment about the unfortunate incident."
A witness told The Philly Inquirer that the shop had just done some stucco work on the storefront.