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Victim dug pit where killed

Posted: August 25, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 25, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The 19-year-old Master’s College freshman who died at an Oxnard beach on Wednesday had a part in digging the hole that collapsed and suffocated him, a college spokesman said Friday.

“What we know is that Paul dug the hole himself,” said Mark Tatlock, executive vice president and provost of the small faith-based institution, referring to Mingyu “Paul” Sang.

Tatlock said he couldn’t confirm if other students helped Sang dig the 6-foot-deep sand pit. About 350 new students were at Oxnard Beach Park on Wednesday for a school-sponsored event called the “Beach Bash.”

Both staff and student leaders attended the beach event connected with the college’s welcome week, Tatlock said. Staff members tried to warn Sang that he was in danger while standing in the hole, Tatlock said.

Tatlock declined to comment on whether the college shared any responsibility or liability for the death.

Sang had been a permanent United States resident for the last five years and had started business classes at The Master’s College five days before his death.

Firefighters with the Oxnard Fire Department pulled Sang from the sand 15 minutes after the pit collapsed on him and started CPR immediately. He was pronounced dead at the Ventura County Medical Center after being rushed to the hospital by paramedics who continued to perform CPR.

Lifeguard officials warn against digging large holes in the sand, although no lifeguard was posted at the beach where the college event took place.

“When you dig in soil as loose as sand you have a collapse hazard,” said Tony Imbrenda, an inspector with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Obviously, digging in the sand and getting into a hole is never a good idea.”


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