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Seven-year-old girl dies after being buried alive in sand hole she was digging at beach

Seven-year-old girl dies after being buried alive in sand hole she was digging at beach

The girl and her brother were trapped when their sand hole collapsed

A seven-year-old girl died after she and her nine-year-old brother were buried alive in a sand hole they had been digging on a beach in Florida.

The children had been playing on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea when they became trapped in the sand as it collapsed on them, according to CBS.

Authorities said that the children became trapped at around 3pm on Tuesday (20 February), and that witnesses said the hole was around five to six feet deep when the sand collapsed.

Seven-year-old Sloan Mattingly was completely buried, while her brother Maddox was buried up to his neck in the sand, and when the emergency services arrived they found around 20 people on the beach digging to rescue the children.

Paramedics rushed the pair to hospital but the girl was later pronounced dead, while her brother is recovering at Broward Health Medical Center in a stable condition.

The seven-year-old died after a sand hole she and her brother were digging collapsed on them.
CBS Miami

CNN reported that Broward County Sheriff's Office said that the children were part of a family from Indiana and were on vacation in Florida.

The incident remains under investigation by the authorities, who first arrived on the scene of the tragic incident around four minutes after the first emergency calls were made.

The children's school also issued a statement yesterday (21 February) as reported by the Daily Mail offering their condolences to the family and asking others to keep them in their thoughts.

It said: "It is with a heavy heart that I write this letting you know we lost a precious member of the Lafayette Meadows school family.

"Sloan Mattingly was a bright, sweet, loving 1st grade student in Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class. Sloan passed away on Tuesday. We will be talking with Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class, as well as Ms. Kilbourne’s class, as Sloan’s brother is a member of that classroom, on Thursday.

"Our administration team and counselors have support resources available for any student or staff member who is in need during this time of loss.

Footage from the scene shows bystanders and the emergency services trying to dig the children out.
CBS Miami

"Please keep the Mattingly family in your thoughts and prayers. They have requested privacy at this time. We will pass along any further information the family wishes to share."

Ocean rescue experts have criticised the lack of lifeguards on the beach who might have been able to stop the children from digging the hole before it became too deep.

As per the Tampa Bay Times, the beach at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea did not have lifeguards but on other beaches in the area there are lifeguards who are under instruction to stop people from digging holes more than two feet deep.

LADbible has contacted Broward County Sheriff's Office for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: CBS

Topics: US News