Lilydale landslide: Parents say they weren't warned of risks


The city of St. Paul noted to visitors that areas of Lilydale Regional Park can be hazardous, warning of "unsafe conditions," but the warning was not passed to St. Louis Park parents whose fourth-grade children went to the park on a field trip in May, MPR and KARE 11 report.

Two students died and two were injured in a landslide at the park during the school-trip fossil hunt. Transcripts of emergency calls from Lilydale Regional Park on May 21 describe what happened immediately after a bluff gave way.

Several parents spoke with MPR and KARE 11 for the first time, saying they think officials at Peter Hobart Elementary School should have given them more notice about perils at the park. "They should have consulted with us and let us know: The area's not a very safe area. There's caves. There's cliffs. Are you OK with us taking your child down there?" Danielle Meldahl tells MPR. Her 10-year-old son was injured in the landslide.

"Look out here, where my son has died," Mohamed Muse said in a cell phone video he shot at the site four days after the tragedy, KARE 11 reports.

"That's a very, very dangerous place. Why they allowed to go over there?" Muse asks in the KARE report.

The St. Louis Park school district declined KARE and MPR requests for an interview about what happened at Lilydale. The district provided the news outlets with copies of field-trip permission slips for parents, but the slips did not specifically mention any safety risks at Lilydale. District officials have said that the children were supervised.

Families are considering legal options, the news sources reported.

An engineering firm was hired to investigate the cause of the collapse. Separately, a law school dean was hired to lead an investigation into the incident.

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