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updated: 7/13/2013 4:04 PM

Rescued boy responding to treatment

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  • Michigan City firefighters, police, and first responders dig through a sand dune at Mount Baldy near Michigan City, Ind., while searching for a missing 8-year-old-boy who fell into a hole. Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe said it took crews using heavy excavating equipment about 3.5 hours to pull the boy out, saying he was buried under 11 feet of sand at a dune known as Mount Baldy. The boy initially was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health Medical Center, then flown to a Chicago hospital.

      Michigan City firefighters, police, and first responders dig through a sand dune at Mount Baldy near Michigan City, Ind., while searching for a missing 8-year-old-boy who fell into a hole. Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe said it took crews using heavy excavating equipment about 3.5 hours to pull the boy out, saying he was buried under 11 feet of sand at a dune known as Mount Baldy. The boy initially was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health Medical Center, then flown to a Chicago hospital.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- A Chicago hospital reports that a 6-year-old boy who spent more than 3 hours underground after an Indiana sand dune collapsed on him was able to respond to "simple commands" upon arrival.
Comer Children's Hospital spokeswoman Lorna Wong said in a statement released Saturday that the boy is in critical condition and "has responded well to mechanical ventilation."
The boy was playing on the large dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Friday when he dropped into a hole. Authorities say the dune collapsed in on him while his family was trying to save him and that he was buried for more than three hours under 11 feet of sand.
Michigan City, Ind., Fire Chief Ronnie Martin told WSBT-TV on Saturday that an air pocket saved the boy's life.

The boy's family called 911 at about 4:30 p.m. saying their son became covered when they tried to dig him out. Emergency responders were on scene within 15 minutes and began digging by hand, said Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe , who called the incident "baffling."

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"I have never heard of anything like this here or at other sand dune parks," said Rowe, who has worked at the lakeshore since 1991. "I've never heard of anything like this on a sand dune."

The dune will remain closed this weekend while authorities investigate.

"We won't let people on the dune again until we know what happened and whether it is safe for them," he said.

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