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Girl, 7, dies after being buried alive in hole she was digging at the beach

Girl, 7, dies after being buried alive in hole she was digging at the beach

The Indiana youngster became trapped under a mountain of sand

Tributes have been pouring in following the heartbreaking loss of seven-year-old Indiana-local Sloan Mattingly this week, who was killed following an incident at the beach whilst holidaying in Florida.

The youngster had been visiting the holiday hotspot of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea with her family on Tuesday, 20 February, when she and her nine-year-old brother Maddox opted to dig a huge hole in the sand at around 3pm.

What started off as some playful brother-sister time soon turned into heart-stopping disaster, however, after the sand walls of the hole began caving in on the siblings.

As reported by CBS, Sloan and her brother became totally submerged in the sand and were unable to drag themselves out.

Whilst the little boy was buried up to his neck, Sloan was completely buried in the hole, which witnesses later explained was around 6ft deep.

By the time the emergency services arrived on the scene - four minutes after initial calls were made by witnesses - around 20 fellow beach-goers had surrounded the area and were attempting to dig through the sand to release Maddox and rescue Sloan.

After the children were finally recovered from under the mountain of sand, paramedics rushed them to hospital to receive treatment as fast as possible.

The youngster became trapped when the sand walls of the hole collapsed.
CBS Miami

Arriving at Broward Health Medical Center, Maddox was placed into a stable condition, but sadly, Sloan was pronounced dead.

Since the news of her passing broke earlier this week, the youngster's school released a statement offering their condolences to Sloan's loved ones.

The Daily Mail reported to have been told: "It is with a heavy heart that I write this letting you know we lost a precious member of the Lafayette Meadows school family.

"Sloan Mattingly was a bright, sweet, loving 1st grade student in Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class. Sloan passed away on Tuesday.

"We will be talking with Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class, as well as Ms. Kilbourne’s class, as Sloan’s brother is a member of that classroom, on Thursday.

"Our administration team and counselors have support resources available for any student or staff member who is in need during this time of loss.

Witnesses tried to recover Sloan from the scene.
CBS Miami

The statement continued: "Please keep the Mattingly family in your thoughts and prayers. They have requested privacy at this time.

"We will pass along any further information the family wishes to share."

Following the incident, ocean rescue professionals have slammed the lack of lifeguards on the beach, being that authority figures would have been able to prevent the siblings from digging their hole too deep.

LADbible Group contacted Broward County Sheriff's Office for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: CBS Miami

Topics: Travel, US News, News, Health