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Child buried under 11 feet of sand rescued

Posted on July 13, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 13, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

MICHIGAN CITY — A 6-year-old boy playing near a large sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan partially fell into a hole on Friday and then became trapped when he became covered with sand when his family tried to rescue him.

Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe said it took crews using heavy excavating equipment about 3.5 hours to pull the boy out, saying he was buried under 11 feet of sand at a dune known as Mount Baldy. The boy initially was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health Medical Center, then flown to a Chicago hospital.

Rowe said he has been told the boy has vital signs, but he does not know his condition. Officials did not immediately release the name of the boy or where he was from.

The boy’s family called 911 about 4:30 p.m. Central time saying their son became covered when they tried to dig him out. Emergency crews were on scene within 15 minutes and began digging by hand, Rowe said. Rowe said he doesn’t know what the boy was doing when he got stuck, but called the incident “baffling.”

“I have never heard of anything like this here or at other sand dune parks,” said Rowe, who has worked at the lakeshore since 1991. “I’ve never heard of anything like this on a sand dune.”

Mount Baldy will remain closed during the weekend while authorities investigate what happened, Rowe said.

“We won’t let people on the dune again until we know what happened and whether it is safe for them,” he said.

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