Girl, 9, Dies After Sand Collapses at Oregon Beach, Burying Her Alive

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A 9-year-old died at an Oregon beach when a hole she was digging in the sand caved in and buried her, authorities said.

Isabel Grace Franks was visiting the beach in Lincoln City on Friday evening with her parents and friends.

“Her and her siblings were digging a big hole in the sand,” Lincoln City police Sgt. Brian Eskridge said. “She was sitting inside, and the hole collapsed. We believe she was under the sand around five minutes.”

Beachgoers frantically tried to dig her out, but the sand kept collapsing back into the hole, Eskridge said.

“We heard screaming,” Tracey Dudley, who was staying at a nearby hotel, told CNN affiliate KATU. “At first we thought, you know, it was just kids. But it was like screaming and screaming and screaming.”

The hole was big enough for a crouching adult to fit in, witnesses told the affiliate.

“It’s not unusual for kids to build holes and sandcastles in the sand, but a lot of people don’t understand it can collapse,” Eskridge said. “It’s difficult for people to understand how hard it is to get people out.”

Police and firefighters dug her out, but she was unconscious and not breathing. Emergency crews performed CPR on her and transported her to a hospital, where she was declared dead.

Isabel and her parents were visiting the beach from Sandy, Oregon.

Mourners left flowers, candles and notes near where she died.