Girl Dies in Sand Hole Collapse

( – A young girl about 7 years old suffocated and died this week after she got trapped beneath collapsing sand while digging a hole on a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach with another child, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Pampano Beach Fire and Rescue received a call just after 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday reporting that the two children, a boy and a girl between 7 and 8 years old, had been buried when the 5- to 6-foot deep hole they were digging collapsed.

According to Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King, the boy was buried in sand up to his chest while the girl was engulfed beneath him. It was not clear if a parent or guardian was with the children when the incident occurred or how long they were buried in the sand before the rescue crew arrived.

Rescue workers retrieved the boy and used shovels and support boards to dig down to where the girl was buried. According to WTVJ, one witness recorded a video of the rescue efforts.

The girl was finally pulled from the hole without a pulse. Firefighters conducted life-saving efforts as they rushed her to Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Health Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead.

The boy’s parents were on the scene and he was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

It was unclear if the children were locals or visitors.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found 52 incidents in ten years in which people were trapped by collapsing sand while digging holes on a beach.

According to the researchers, the victims in each of the incidents became fully submerged leaving little evidence of the hole. Some of the incidents resulted in death.

In May 2023, a teenager died after getting trapped by collapsing sand while digging a hole on a beach along the Outer Banks.

According to a report from the Outer Banks Seaside Vacations property management company, storms and beach erosion, combined with digging, can weaken the surrounding area causing a hole to collapse.

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