4-year-old girl dies in tragic accident at Santa's parade in Yarmouth, N.S.


A four-year-old girl died after a tragic accident at a Santa Claus parade in Yarmouth, N.S., police said Saturday when a witness described a terror scene that rocked the holiday town of the small port city.

The girl, who was not publicly identified, was running along a walking parade on one of the city's main thoroughfares when she fell underneath it just before 7:00 p.m. local time, police said.

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She was taken to a local hospital by paramedics, but was pronounced dead shortly after.

Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, a Nova Scotia RCMP public information officer, described the event as "very, very tragic – and also very traumatic for everyone.

"My understanding is that there was a large group of people there – families – watching the Santa Claus parade when this incident occurred," Hutchinson said in an interview Saturday night.

He added that anyone who has witnessed the incident should talk about it with others and seek support to deal with the trauma.

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"Our thoughts are with this girl's family during this very, very difficult time."

Vance Webb, a retired engineer who lives on the outskirts of Yarmouth, attended the Saturday parade with his wife, stepson and three grandchildren.

"We were just watching the parade and then about 10 meters away, I hear – suddenly the float stops and I sort of see something on the ground," Webb said in a telephone interview.

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"Then, all of a sudden, we just heard screams. It was very close to us.

Webb said that the whole scene descended into "chaos" when people realized what had happened.

"People less than 15 feet away – none of us are well. All the adults were crying. Everywhere I saw, there were hundreds of people crying, "Webb said.

"This will really affect the city."

The parade organizers did not immediately respond to requests for comments on Saturday night.


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