Two toddlers swept away, killed in fast-moving San Bernardino National Forest creek

A 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother died Tuesday after they were swept downstream in a fast-moving San Bernardino National Forest creek near Forest Falls, authorities said.

The children were playing at Thurman Flats Picnic Area on Tuesday afternoon, not far from the banks of Mill Creek, when their mother noticed that the 4-year-old had disappeared while the mother was attending to her 2-year-old son, according to a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department.

The mother searched for her daughter but could not find her, officials said. When she returned to where she'd left her son, he was also missing.

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Officials said the woman frantically asked for help finding her children, but others in the park also were unable to locate them, the release said.

Local search and rescue teams soon became involved, including San Bernardino Sheriff's Air Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service Rescue Crew. About 40 minutes later both children were found downstream near the creek's edge.

They were transported to local hospitals but were soon pronounced dead, officials said. The names of the mother and her children were not released.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.