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2 teens hurt in beach tunnel collapse near Santa Cruz

June 27, 2011 |  3:15 pm

Two teenage boys were injured when a sand tunnel they were digging at Sunset State Beach in Santa Cruz County collapsed, officials said Monday.

The 17-year-olds were on a camping trip with about 50 other people from the Creekside Community Church in Alamo, Calif., when the incident occurred just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The two had been digging holes in the sand about 7 feet deep, said park ranger Mike McMenamy, and when they tried to connect the two holes with a tunnel, the sand collapsed.

Beachgoers and lifeguards immediately tried to dig the boys out, but they were trapped for about 15 minutes. One of the boys was taken to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz; he was released later that night.

The second boy suffered more serious injuries and was taken by helicopter to a San Jose hospital.

McMenamy said he could not release the names of the two, but the Associated Press said the boy taken to the San Jose hospital has been identified as Ryan Buchanan and was in critical condition Monday morning.


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-- Kate Mather