Girl Dead After Tragic Sand Hole Cave-In

Girl Dead After Tragic Sand Hole Cave-In

( – A young girl died after a sand hole collapsed on her in Florida. The tragic accident happened when the 7-year-old from Indiana was playing in a hole she had dug with her brother on a beach in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The two children became trapped when the sand imploded, and people rushed to their aid, trying to free them with their hands. Sloan and Maddox Mattingly were eventually freed by emergency first responders and taken to hospital, but Sloan died hours later.

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, in the north of Fort Lauderdale, does not have lifeguards on duty, but first responders arrived within four minutes of the incident, reports claim. The children, on vacation with their parents, were buried in what officials say is an under-recognized danger for beachgoers. Witnesses said the boy was buried up to his chest, but the girl was wholly covered, as the hole continued collapsing even while people attempted to dig them out.

Sandra King, spokesperson for the Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue Department, described the incident as a “horrible, horrible scene,” adding that the parents and first responders were distraught.

In a Facebook post, officials from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea said the tragedy happened just after 3 pm, and Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue responded immediately. They said their “hearts are heavy” at the news of the young girl’s death.

The American Lifeguard Association also issued a statement saying sand is more dangerous than most people realize. Bernard J. Fisher II, the association’s health and safety director, called for greater awareness and new safety measures to prevent future tragedies.

Statistics show that up to around five children die under similar circumstances in the US every year, and many more are injured. Last year, a 17-year-old became trapped on a North Carolina beach, and there were similar incidents in New Jersey and Utah the year before.

Patrick Bafford, the lifeguard manager for Clearwater, Florida, said staff should warn people when sand holes become so large that they are hazardous.

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