Two children died after part of a Northern California hillside collapsed near a dam and river Thursday, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said.

The children, described as juveniles, were caught in the rocks and debris that fell down a hillside around 9 a.m., downstream of the Shasta Dam, the office said in a news release.

The bodies were later recovered, it said. Water was reduced from the dam to lower the level of the river as officials searched for them.

The area near where two children died near Shasta Dam, in Shata Lake, Calif., on Thursday.KNVN

“The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and allied agencies extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Their names and ages were not immediately released.

Officials responded to the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area on the report of a rock and debris slide. The Bureau of Land Management, which controls it, describes the area as hilly with overlooks of the Sacramento River. Camping is also allowed in the area.

The Shasta Dam that crosses the river is around 600 feet tall. The water held by it forms Shasta Lake, a reservoir north of Redding.

There is an ongoing investigation into what happened and how the children ended up in the water, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office did not say whether rainfall was a factor in the collapse of the hillside, but California has been battered by heavy rains this month that left ground saturated.

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