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‘It’s sad for everybody involved:’ Child dies after sand hole collapses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A young girl is dead and a little boy is hurt, after being trapped in a sand hole.

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The two—around seven and eight years olds—were digging at hole at the beach in Fort Lauderdale. It collapsed on both of them, according to the Associated Press. The hole was about five or six feet deep. The young girl died as a result, and the young boy is in the hospital.

Read: Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

“First off, I just think that’s just a tragic thing to have happen at the beach,” Kyle Falcon said. “It’s sad for everybody involved.”

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Falcon and his girlfriend are avid beachgoers and sand castle builders. Falcon said he always makes sure to fill in after his build.

At Jacksonville beach, you’re required to fill in any sand holes before leaving the beach to protect the sea turtle population. However, it also is important for public safety.

“It could delay a response to whatever emergency could be happening on the beach,” Lieutenant Savannah Coker of Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue, said.

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The alarming death in South Florida has lifeguards warning parents about staying close to your children at the beach.

“No matter what size the hole is, where the hole is on the beach-- a hole is a hole. It’s not gonna be stable no matter how stable it looks,” Lieutenant Vireda Kerlin of Jacksonville Beach Ocean said. “Don’t walk around the edges of it, if someone is inside of it. That could cause the wall to collapse.”

There were 52 instances where people were accidentally buried in holes because of sand that collapsed, with 31 people dying as a result from 1997 to 2007, according to a report from the New England Journal of Medicine.

“There have been several cases where we have injuries due to people twisting their ankles, people breaking legs, even our own lifeguards hyperextending or getting injured due to running down the beach for a rescue,” Lt. Kerlin said, in reference to sand holes on the beach.

A reminder that you are required to fill in sand holes that you dig at all Jacksonville beaches before leaving for the day.

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