VINELAND, N.J. (CBS) — A toddler is dead after he fell into a grease pit behind a supermarket and restaurant in Vineland New Jersey.

The 3-year-old is the son of the owners of the store.  He fell into the grease pit behind Cidra’s Supermarket and Restaurant in Vineland.  Employees say that pit is usually covered by a 2-foot, iron manhole cover, but it was off because a worker was dumping the oil from a fryer.

Vineland Detective Lt. Matthew Finley says an employee saw the boy fall in but couldn’t see into the thick murky liquid.

“One of the other workers from the restaurant went down into the manhole trying to reach the child but was unsuccessful.”

EMS and Fire crews were able to pull the boy out, but was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The pit is about 7 feet deep and catches oil and grease to keep out of the sewer.  The investigation continues today, but officials say it appears the toddler’s death is nothing more than a tragic accident.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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