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Girl dies after getting buried in sand at Florida beach

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(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — A young girl has died and her brother has been hospitalized after they fell into a hole they had dug in the sand at a beach Tuesday in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida.


Sloan Mattingly, 7, and Maddox Mattingly, 9, were pulled out of the sand and taken to the hospital, but police later confirmed the girl died at the hospital.

“Our hearts are heavy in LBTS today after learning two children were trapped in the sand,” the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea said in a statement.

“The preliminary investigation revealed the children, and their parents were on vacation from Indiana. Investigators say the children were digging a hole in the sand when they were trapped. The circumstances into this incident remain under investigation,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Police received a call about two children being trapped in the sand at around 3 p.m.

A witness shared video with Miami ABC affiliate WPLG showing one of the children being rushed away by first responders after being pulled from the hole.

“You saw grown men digging with shovels and buckets and nobody could find her,” a witness told WPLG. “I guess when the wall caved in she may have been laying flat and so maybe it just kind of pancaked her. The dad was able to pull his son out but the daughter was still underneath the sand.”

Lafayette Meadows School in Indiana, where both children go to school, released a statement calling Sloan a “precious member of the Lafayette Meadows school family.”

“Sloan Mattingly was a bright sweet, loving 1st grade student in Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class. Sloan passed away on Tuesday. We will be talking with Ms. Vanbrocklin’s class, as well as Ms. Kilbourne’s class, as Sloan’s brother is a member of that classroom, on Thursday,” Jenny Fedele, the principal of Lafayette Meadows Elementary School, said in a statement.

“Please keep the Mattingly family in your thoughts and prayers. They have requested privacy at this time. We will pass along any further information the family wishes to share,” Fedele said.

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