Girl Dies in Sand Hole on Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL, Beach

Feb. 21, 2024
Pompano Beach Fire Rescue medics, firefighters and civilians dug in the six-foot hole to free her.

David Goodhue

Miami Herald


MIAMI — A little girl who was digging a hole on the beach with her brother Tuesday afternoon at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea died when what began as a fun day in the sun took a tragic turn — the 5- to 6-foot deep hole suddenly collapsed, burying the siblings in the sand.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue paramedics, after digging them out of the sand on the beach at 4424 El Mar Drive, rushed the girl to the Broward Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where doctors pronounced her dead, according to the department’s spokesperson.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies took her brother to the hospital in stable condition, said Pompano Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King.

The children’s exact ages were not available as their parents were too distraught to speak with investigators, King said, noting that both are under 8 years old.

“It was an unfathomable accident,” King said.

Firefighters and deputies were dispatched to the beach around 3:15 p.m. When firefighters arrived, nearby Good Samaritans were trying to help dig them out.

The boy was chest deep in the sand before firefighters were able to rescue him. His parents subsequently ran him to a BSO car, and deputies took him to the hospital, according to King.

But the girl, who was submerged beneath him in the sand for an unknown period of time, was still trapped.

Firefighters then used tools like shovels and supportive boards in an attempt to reach the girl without the hole further collapsing in on her, added King.

By the time they rescued her, though, she was no longer breathing. King noted that paramedics’ attempts to revive her en route to the hospital were unsuccessful. Upon making it there, King confirmed she was pronounced dead.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing,” BSO said in a statement.


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