The father of one of two children buried alive at a North Carolina construction site called 911 sobbing while reporting the trapped kids in Denver.
Jordan Arwood, 31, the father of 6-year-old Chloe Jade Arwood, had been operating a backhoe Sunday night in a 24-feet deep pit on his property when the girl and her cousin, 7-year-old James Levi Caldwell, fell in.
The bodies of the children were recovered by rescue crews Monday morning in Denver, N.C.
A frantic Arwood called 911 sobbing after the kids fell into the pit. Neighbors reportedly said he was building a bunker when the collapse occurred.
"Please hurry ... My children are buried under tons of dirt ... They're buried under tons of clay ... It fell on top of them," Arwood told dispatchers, according to the Associated Press. “The entire wall collapsed on them. Get a crane. Get a bulldozer. Get anything you can, please. There's no way they can breathe."
The 31-year-old father then started to pray while on the line with 911.
"Lord lift this dirt up off these children ... so the children will be alive and well ... I have to get my kids. Lord, please," he said.
During the 911 call, Arwood argued with the dispatcher, who told him not to put pressure on the dirt. Arwood said he was trying to rescue his daughter and nephew.
"If this was you and your children in the dirt, you'd be moving the dirt, too," he said.
Authorities described the pit as a 20-foot by 20-foot hole. The kids were trying to retrieve a pick axe when they fell inside.
Sheriff David Carpenter said guns and a marijuana plant were recovered from the mobile home. He said Arwood was an ex-convict and was not allowed to have firearms.
Carpenter said authorities were investigating exactly what Arwood was building.
"It's a very large hole. It would look to be something like that, but I don't know. ... We're going to find out exactly what his intentions were," he said, adding that officials would be determining whether the 31-year-old was violating any building codes.
Neighbor Bradley Jones’ daughter Chelsea said Arwood told her he was building a bunker to “protect his family,” the AP reported.
“It’s so sad,” she said of the tragedy.