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Oregon girl, 9, dies when sand hole collapses on her at beach

A beach trip turned tragic for an Oregon family Friday when their 9-year-old daughter suffocated after the walls of a sand hole she was sitting in collapsed on her.

Authorities have identified the girl as Isabel Grace Franks, who was visiting the coast with family and friends from Sandy, a town located 28 miles southeast of Portland. 

Lincoln City Police spokesman Lt. Jerry Palmer told the Associated Press that firefighters and police responded  shortly after 5 p.m. local time Friday and found a group of people trying to dig Isabel out of the sand. Police began CPR after Isabel was pulled free, unconscious and not breathing. North Lincoln Fire and Rescue and ambulance medical teams took over CPR, and Isabel was taken to a hospital.

Witnesses told KATU-TV that the girl helped dig the hole along with her siblings and other friends at the beach located behind the Seagull Beach Front Motel. The sand caved in after she sat down in the hole to see how deep it was.

"At first we thought, you know, it was just kids, but it was like screaming and screaming and screaming," witness Tracey Dudley said.

Dudley called 911 and watched people desperately try to dig the child out.

"Well, the people were digging and digging and digging, and it looked like the sand kept collapsing," Dudley said.

North Lincoln Fire spokesman Jim Kusz said this type of incident has happened before, but it's rare. Mourners placed flowers and candles at the hole that's now been filled.

"It was heart wrenching," Dudley said. "You could see that people were trying and, I don't even know what to say. It was awful."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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