TUNNEL TRAGEDY: Schoolboy Dies After Being Crushed By Sand Castle

An 11-year-old boy building a sandcastle with a friend has died after it collapsed on top of him and there were no adults around to help.

The unidentified youngster together with a friend of the same age had been digging the sandcastle on Peumo beach in the Pelluhue commune which is in Chile’s Maule region on Saturday, 27th August.

Both of the boys lived near the beach which is close to the mouth of the Chovelle River and had gone to play without their parents.

Illustrative image of a beach in Pelluhue, Chile, undated photo. An 11-year-old boy died after being crushed under a sand castle on Peuno beach in Pelluhue, Chile, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (Newsflash)

According to information from the Emergencies and Civil Protection of the municipality of Pelluhue, it was confirmed that the child was playing unsupervised with his friend when they built the huge sand castle, and then decided to build a tunnel underneath it.

In order to make the tunnel deeper, the youngster had climbed inside and started scraping away when the entire structure collapsed on top of him.

The parents of the boy were then called and rushed to the scene and also raised the alarm with emergency services, who helped move the boy from the sand.

Illustrative image of Peuno beach in Pelluhue, Chile, undated photo. An 11-year-old boy died after being crushed under a sand castle on Peuno beach in Pelluhue, Chile, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (@munipelluhue/Newsflash)

He was taken to hospital where they could only confirm that he had no vital signs and was declared dead on arrival.

The head of the emergencies unit Nelson Gutierrez confirmed: “As a result of an accident on Peuno beach, an 11-year-old minor who was playing with another child of the same age was killed.”

The authorities indicated that the victim was in the sixth grade of elementary school and lived locally.

Illustrative image of a sand castle, undated photo. An 11-year-old boy died after being crushed under a sand castle on Peuno beach in Pelluhue, Chile, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (Newsflash)

When his death was announced, Lieutenant Felipe Sepulveda, from the Chanco police station, urged more care on the beach saying: “Adults and parents should be present when all kinds of activities are carried out by minors, in order to avoid and prevent all kinds of accidents.”

The Cauquenes Criminal Investigation Brigade (Bicrim) is investigating the tragedy.

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