Playing in the sand seems like such an innocent and completely harmless way for children to spend their time at the beach. However, it only takes one mistake for things to take a serious turn for the worse. Such is the case of a 12 year-old New Jersey boy who was tunneling through the sand on Tuesday, only to have his creation collapse on top of him. When paramedics finally managed to pull him free, the child was already unconscious.
In an effort to save his life, the boy was placed in the pediatric intensive care unit at Monmouth Medical Center. Sadly, he was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, there have been 31 such deaths over the span of twenty years. CBS News reports that similar incidents — 16 to be exact — occurred between 1990 and 2010.
“At least once a day, lifeguards have to stop someone from digging a hole too deep,” a California lifeguard explained after an 18-year-old man almost died in a similar sand tunnel collapse. “Holes are a hazard for everyone who uses the beach.”
Another depressing aspect of this story took place when firetrucks responding to the call first arrived on the scene. While holding his son, a man was struck by an emergency vehicle, knocking both he and his baby to the ground. Although the child was not severely injured in the accident, the man suffered several broken bones.
Image provided courtesy of NBC New York