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South Korean student who suffocated in beach sand pit is identified

Mingyu "Paul" SangThe foreign-exchange student from South Korea who suffocated after a sand pit collapsed around him at an Oxnard beach has been identified, and  the Ventura County coroner is calling the case an accident.

Mingyu Sang, also known as Paul, was lying on the bottom of a hole at least 6 feet deep Wednesday afternoon when the sand pit collapsed on top of him, witnesses told fire officials. He was taking a video with his cellphone, officials said.

Firefighters arrived minutes later and used hand shovels and buckets to free him. He was taken out of the pit without a pulse about 15 minutes later and taken to the hospital.

Sang, 19, was a freshman at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita and was spending the day at the beach with friends. He was a permanent U.S. resident and had been living with host families for the past five years, Oxnard Fire Marshal Roderick Thorp said.

“It’s infrequent that this happens,” Thorp said, “but there are other cases throughout the United States.”


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-- Melissa Leu

Follow Melissa Leu on Twitter and Google+.

Photo: Mingyu "Paul" Sang, 19, was killed when a sand pit collapsed at an Oxnard beach. Credit: KTLA

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