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Student's death in beach sand pit collapse ruled accident

MapAuthorities believe the death of a 20-year-old foreign exchange student from South Korea during a beach sand pit collapse was an accident.

Witnesses told fire officials the man was lying on the bottom of a hole that was at least 6 feet deep about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday at Oxnard Beach Park in the 1600 block of South Harbor Boulevard in Oxnard.

He was taking a video with his cellphone when the sand collapsed on top of him, 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 transported to the hospital.

The man was studying at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita and was spending the day at the beach with friends. His name has not been released.

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

The Ventura County Star reported that the coroner ruled the death an accident and added that the victim suffocated.


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-- Melissa Leu

Follow Melissa Leu on Twitter and Google+.

Image: Map of area where sand pit collapse occurred. Credit: KTLA-TV.

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