Officials say they believe an air pocket may have helped keep an Illinois boy alive after he was swallowed under eleven-feet of dune sand at Mount Baldy in Michigan City Friday afternoon. The child's parents were nearby when he became trapped. Officials tell ABC News the boy may have been saved by an air pocket deep inside that sinkhole created by an old tree. The youngster is reportedly still being treated for sand that he may have ingested into his lungs.
Construction crews and NIPSCO were among those responding to rescue the child, who was flown to a Chicago hospital. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says the park will remain closed through the weekend.
Here is the latest information released today from National Lakeshore officials:
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: National park rangers and Michigan City Police were notified at approximately 4:30 p.m. on July 12 that a 6-year old boy had fallen into a hole on the Mount Baldy sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A rescue effort was conducted by National Park Service personnel, Michigan City Police and Fire units, LaPorte County EMS and heavy equipment operators from D & M Excavators, Woodruff and Son, and NIPSCO. The boy was found 11 feet below the surface of the dune and transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City and then later flown to a medical facility in Chicago. The boy has vital signs, but his exact condition is not yet known.
Mount Baldy will 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.
[Photo/ABC 7 Chicago]