Digging in Sand on a Florida Beach Ends With Girl Dead

A young boy was also partially submerged in the sand in Tuesday tragedy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 21, 2024 7:11 AM CST
Young Girl Dies After Hole She Was Digging Collapses
Investigators on the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., take photos of the scene of a sand collapse on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024.   (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A young girl was buried in sand and died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging with a little boy collapsed on them both at a south Florida beach, the AP reports. Emergency crews responding around 3pm to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea found the boy, who is about 8 years old, buried up his chest in sand, said Sandra King, a spokesperson for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue. The girl, about 7 years old, was completely buried underneath the boy, King told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. (Other media outlets report the girl was 5 and the boy is 7.) The hole was 5 or 6 feet deep when the collapse happened, King said. It wasn't immediately known whether an adult was helping the children dig the hole.

Rescuers used support boards to keep more sand from collapsing in as they used shovels to dig the children out, King said. She didn't know how long they were buried. The girl was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where she was pronounced dead, King said. The boy was hospitalized in stable condition. Witnesses tell NBC 6, which has cellphone video of beachgoers attempting to dig the children out of the sand, that the kids were digging and playing before the ground suddenly gave way. A 2007 study on similar incidents found that submersion in sand is an underrecognized hazard, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

(More Florida stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.