MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — An 8-year-old boy who was playing near a large sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan partially fell into a hole and then got trapped under 11 feet of sand before rescuers managed to pull him out.
It took a crew using heavy excavating equipment more than three hours to pull the boy out of a dune known as Mount Baldy on Friday, Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe said. The boy was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health Medical Center, but was later flown to a Chicago hospital.
Rowe said he was told the boy had vital signs, but didn’t know his condition. Officials didn’t immediately release the boy’s name or hometown.
The boy’s family called 911 at about 4:30 p.m. saying their son became covered when they tried to dig him out. Emergency responders were on scene within 15 minutes and began digging by hand, said Rowe, who 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.”
The dune will remain closed this weekend while authorities investigate.
“We won’t let people on the dune again until we know what happened and whether it is safe for them,” he said.
Editor’s note: Differing reports have placed the boy’s age at 6.