Boy Recovering from Dunes Sand Hole
The National Park Service is closing Mount Baldy at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore while its officials investigate a sand collapse that trapped a six-year-old boy under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours.
The Service is checking a theory about whether a giant sand dune in northwest Indiana had buried a tree over time that caused a hole when the tree decomposed, leaving space in the sand.
Rescuers recovered Nathan Woessner of Illinois Friday in the dune along Lake Michigan’s south shoreline in Michigan City. He was in critical condition at University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital where he has been since Friday night.
Park Ranger and public information officer Bruce Rowe told Lakeshore Monday that the Mount Baldy area will remain closed indefinitely. Officials plan to bring in ground-sensing equipment to see if voids or other potential hazards can be identified. Additional expertise also is being sought from the Geologic Resource Division of the National Park Service and other sources.