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Day-care center probed after 2 toddlers found on railroad tracks

Anaheim police were called by neighbors, one of whom took the children to safety. The boys apparently went missing during outdoor playtime and may have reached the tracks through a hole in a fence.

August 27, 2009|Tony Barboza

State regulators are investigating a YMCA day-care center in Anaheim after two toddlers went missing during outdoor playtime and were found on nearby railroad tracks.

Police received two calls about 4 p.m. Aug. 20 from neighbors who reported two young boys on the tracks near the YMCA Children's Station at 100 S. Atchison St., Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said.

One of the callers took the 2-year-olds away from the tracks to safety, staying with them until officers arrived.

YMCA workers discovered that the children were missing during a routine head count and flagged down police, who returned the toddlers to their caretakers unharmed.

Martinez said access to the tracks is restricted and that the boys probably found their way onto the tracks through a hole someone had cut in a wire fence. The YMCA said the fence has since been fixed.

"We are conducting a full investigation into the matter and doing everything within our power to ensure that something like this could never happen again," YMCA spokesman John Guastaferro said in a written statement.

The state Department of Social Services opened an investigation after the YMCA reported the incident to the agency's Community Care Licensing Division as required by law, spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez said.

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tony.barboza@latimes.com

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