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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August, 2005, 06:31 GMT 07:31 UK
Girl, 3, dies in beach accident
Upton Towans beach
Police say the girl's family had been on holiday
A three-year-old girl has died on a Cornwall beach after getting trapped in a five-foot hole in sand.

It is thought the girl was smothered with sand after digging the hole with her brother on Upton Towans Beach, near Hayle, on Sunday afternoon.

Portreath Coastguard Rescue, the fire brigade, police and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were sent to the scene.

The boy was unharmed, but the girl, whose family is from Sussex, was pronounced dead at hospital.

Tragic accident

She was pronounced dead at 1750 BST after being airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, by helicopter, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances, and that the family had been on holiday.

The force said: "The boy was released quite quickly but the girl was trapped.

"Police are treating this as a tragic accident. The girl was with her family on holiday and are not local to the area."

Peter Trenchard, manager at the nearby Beachside Holiday Park, Hayle, said: "Our hearts go out to the family at this sad time."

Penwith area Beach Manager Phil Drew said: "Our lifeguards were alerted and went to the scene to assist. Members of the public also went to assist, but it became a bit chaotic with the number of people around.

"A lot of sand collapsed back into the hole, then the emergency services arrived and between us we dug for about half an hour and managed to get her out.

"Because of the position the child was in, it was difficult to get any equipment down to keep any resuscitation going for any length of time.

"A safety message to try and get out there is if you are going to dig in the sand, please think about what the consequences would be if the sand did collapse in on you."

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