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Distressing moment frantic rescuers try to dig dying girl, 5, out of collapsed sand hole she was digging on Florida beach with boy, 7: Youngster later succumbed to her injuries

A five-year-old girl has died after the sand hole she was digging collapsed on top of her, as the moment frantic passers-by tried to save her was caught on camera.

A seven-year-old boy was also trapped in the hole on the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, when it collapsed, but he survived.

Witnesses said the children were digging the hole and playing in it when the ground gave way. Mobile phone footage showed a crowd of desperate beachgoers trying to dig them out before firefighters arrived.

Other children stood watching the terrible scene unfold before their eyes.

They were both rushed to hospital, but the girl was pronounced dead on arrival. Their identities have not yet been released and it is unknown if they are related. It is also unclear who was caring for them at the time of the tragedy.

Pompano Beach Fire spokesperson Sandra King said the hole was about five feet deep when it collapsed, leaving the boy buried up to his chest and the girl completely buried beneath him.

Frantic passersby got down on their knees and dug with their hands in a desperate attempt to reach the girl

Moments later, a group of adults were seen rushing one of the two children from the beach for medical attention, while other young people watched the horror unfold.

Moments later, a group of adults were seen rushing one of the two children from the beach for medical attention, while other young people watched the horror unfold.

Discarded buckets and toys could be seen in the aftermath of the desperate rescue attempt

Discarded buckets and toys could be seen in the aftermath of the desperate rescue attempt

A crowd gathered to help dig the children out until authorities arrived

A crowd gathered to help dig the children out until authorities arrived

King told Florida Sun Sentinel that she did not know how long they had been buried, but that when the girl was dug up she had no pulse.

She said: ‘We performed life-saving techniques to try to return her heartbeat but it never recovered and she was pronounced dead in hospital.’

She was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where she was pronounced dead.

The boy’s parents put him in a sheriff’s car and he too was taken to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

It was not immediately clear whether adults helped the children dig the hole or played in it with them.

King said she doesn’t know if the family is local or visiting. She said police are investigating.

Broward Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics rushed to the beach to the 4400 block of El Mar Drive at 3:16 p.m. Tuesday.

In the aftermath of the collapse, a crowd of people could be seen standing around the huge pit.

Eerily, two buckets could be seen nearby. It is unclear whether these belonged to the children involved in the collapse.

Cell phone footage from the minutes after the collapse showed people on their knees digging through the sand with their hands.

Some tried to hold the walls to prevent more sand from falling on the children.

Aerial photos showed how big the hole was after it collapsed on Tuesday afternoon

Aerial photos showed how big the hole was after it collapsed on Tuesday afternoon

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Authorities cordoned off the hole while the children were rushed to hospital

Authorities cordoned off the hole while the children were rushed to hospital

Others used shovels and beach toys to scrape sand from the hole.

When authorities arrived, they cordoned off the beach, leaving the giant hole half-filled with discarded children’s buckets and shovels.

Although sand hole deaths are very rare, they are not unheard of and studies and warnings have been published about them.

Last week, a toddler was trapped on Jersey Shore Beach after a structure he was playing in collapsed and buried him. After an initial panic, the boy’s father was able to save him.

Last May, a 17-year-old boy died in the small resort town of Frisco, on Virginia’s Outer Banks, after captured in a hole dug in a back dune area behind the primary dune of the beach along the Atlantic Ocean.

The teenager was buried under a meter of sand after an adjacent dune apparently collapsed into the hole.

After his death, an Outer Banks property management and vacation rental company Seaside Vacations wrote a blog following a fatal sand collapse in the area about the dangers of digging holes on the beach.

They said: ‘Sand is structurally unstable by nature. Beach erosion, storms and sand removal can weaken the area and cause problems even after the hole is filled back in.”

They advised never to dig deeper than knee height, especially in an area with dunes.

A young girl was pronounced dead on arrival, but the young boy survived and is in stable condition

A young girl was pronounced dead on arrival, but the young boy survived and is in stable condition

Deaths from sand holes are rare, but there have been a few in recent years

Deaths from sand holes are rare, but there have been a few in recent years

In 2022, Levi Caverly, 18, died after he and his 17-year-old sister became trapped when the sand collapsed on them in a deep hole they were digging on the beach in Toms River.

Levi died in the collapse while his sister was rescued alive.

In 2012, another teenager died after being trapped under a collapsed sand dune at Snow Canyon State Park, about 50 miles northwest of where Levi died.

Also in 2022, a 35-year-old man was found dead with his feet sticking out of the sand along the Treasure Coast, where he had been leaning on some sand before it collapsed on top of him.

According to a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, there were 52 fatal and non-fatal sand hole incidents between 1997 and 2007.

The research shows that this is an unusual and recognized danger.

It said: ‘Normally, the victims became completely submerged in the sand when the walls of the hole collapsed unexpectedly, leaving virtually no evidence of the hole or the victim’s location.

‘Collapse was unintentionally caused by various circumstances including digging, tunneling, jumping or falling into the hole.’