Oxnard, CA — Authorities say a 20-year-old Korean exchange student was killed Wednesday after the sides of a six-foot-deep pit he was digging collapsed, burying him under the sand.
CBS Los Angeles reports the man, whose name was not immediately released, was with other students from Masters College digging a large pit in the sand outside the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel Resort at the Oxnard Beach Park in Southern California.
“I think the kids were just having fun on the beach,” said Battalion Chief Darwin Base of the Oxnard Fire Department. “There was a big group of them down there. They were taking pictures of each other and from what I understand the individual was laying back in the pit and taking pictures of his fellow students and that’s when it sloughed and came in on him.”
According to Base, his department received the emergency call at 4:50 pm and arrived four minutes later. Firefighters worked with hand tools, including 5-gallon buckets and shovels, to dig the victim out, but it took fifteen minutes to reach him, officials reported.
CPR was performed on the man as he was taken to Ventura County Medical Center, but he was declared dead at the hospital.
Authorities said the student was from Korea but were waiting to notify relatives before releasing further details on the accident.
The Ventura County Star reported that lifeguards usually caution people not to dig holes on the beach as the sand and surrounding soil tend to be very unstable.
“It’s really something people need to know about,” Darwin Base said.
KCAL has more on the tragic Oxnard Beach Park accident in the video below: