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Six-Year-Old Rescued After Being Trapped For Hours Under Sand At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore


A 6-year-old boy trapped for more than three hours in a sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was reported to be in critical condition Saturday, though was responding to doctors.

The boy became trapped Friday afternoon in a hole in the lakeshore's Mount Baldy sand dune. Rescuers, at times using a backhoe to dig, pulled the youth out from under 11 feet of sand roughly three-and-a-half hours after he became trapped.

The unidentified boy was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City and then later flown to a medical facility in Chicago. On Saturday, a spokeswoman at Comer Children’s Hospital said in a statement that the boy ‘‘has responded well to mechanical ventilation.’’

Mount Baldy, a popular attraction with lakeshore visitors, rises to 126 feet and is the largest sand dune at the lakeshore. The park offers maps for hiking to the top of the dune. The area was to remain closed over the weekend while an investigation into the cause of this accident is conducted. A determination will be made Monday morning on whether it will be reopened.


There is an interesting article in the current issue of Smithsonian Magazine about this story.  It reaches no conclusions but suggests that voids beneath the dune may result from decayed tree trunks that produced empty vertical shafts.

Here is a link that will take you directly to the online article:

The boy survived, by the way.

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