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Thursday, Sep 4, 2014

World

Killed by sand pit collapse

The New Paper | Thursday, Sep 4, 2014

A nine-year-old girl happily digging in the sand on a beach died after the sand collapsed, suffocating her in the process.

Other beachgoers were unable to dig her out in time, said the US police on Saturday. The tragedy took place on an Oregon beach, Reuters reported.

The girl, identified as Isabel Grace Franks, was playing on the beach Friday evening in Lincoln City, when she was buried in a hole between 60cm and 1.2m deep, the Lincoln City police said.

Beachgoer Tracey Dudley told CNN: "We heard screaming from the beach. At first we thought it was just kids playing, but then it was screaming, screaming, screaming."

The girl was under the sand for between five and seven minutes before she was pulled out, Lincoln City Police Sergeant Randy Weaver said.

"Everybody was just digging and digging frantically, and then a first responder jumped down into the hole and it took between five and ten minutes to get her up," Ms Debbie Kohl, who watched the tragic scene unfold from her motel room overlooking the beach, told Portland news website KGW.com.

UNCONSCIOUS

The girl, who was visiting with her parents from Sandy, Oregon, was unconscious and not breathing when pulled out from the collapsed sand hole.

She was taken to a hospital in Lincoln City, but she could not be revived, the Lincoln City Police Department said in a statement.

"When you dig in the sand it keeps falling back in on itself, so it was extremely difficult to get her out," Mr Weaver said. "It was a tragic event."

Police Sergeant Brian Eskridge told NBC News that there have been sand collapses in the past, but that they are rare.

He said: "This is a horrific accident. Any time you've got a sand structure, if they dig, there's the potential someone can get trapped in it. "It's really dangerous, and people aren't aware of it."

Mr Eskridge said the suction when a sand pit collapses makes it especially difficult to rescue those trapped.

Over the weekend, flowers and candles were placed in the sand where the accident occured.


This article was first published on September 02, 2014.
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