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Mine Hazard Awareness Campaign

Accident Information File


05-12-2004
A 15-year-old Oak Lawn, Ill., boy drowned while swimming in an abandoned quarry in south suburban Chicago. The teen and a friend had been taking pictures, and the victim jumped off the quarry's edge. According to witnesses, he may have hit his head on a rock. His friend tried to lend assistance, but found it too difficult in the murky water, so he got out of the water and called for help. Divers found the teen's body in up to 15 feet of water hours after he was reported missing, about 50 feet from the edge. Emergency workers claimed that silt severely limited visibility under water; divers could not even see their hands in front of their masks. The quarry is located in a primarily industrial area, about a mile east of the center of the town of Lemont. For decades, it's been a popular spot for kids and adults, even though people know swimming is prohibited due to the dangerous conditions. The last drowning there reportedly occurred in the late 1970's. (Source: NBC5 News/Chicago)