Boy, 11, crushed to death by sandcastle as he played unsupervised on beach

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An 11-year-old boy was tragically crushed to death by a sandcastle that he and a friend had just built moments before.

The child, who has not been named, had been digging around in the sand and made a large sandcastle with his pal on Peumo beach in the Maule Region, Chile, on Saturday (August 27).

The pair then decided to build a tunnel under their creation, according to information provided by the Emergencies and Civil Protection of the municipality of Pelluhue.

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The boy then climbed inside the tunnel in order to dig deeper, he clambered into the hole and started scraping away before the entire structure came tumbling down, crushing him.

The youngster's parents were notified of the incident and rushed to the beach, as well as notifying emergency services who helped to remove him from the sand.

He was rushed to hospital, but unfortunately there was nothing they could do for the boy as he had no vital signs.

The youngster was declared dead on arrival.

The head of the emergencies unit Nelson Gutierrez confirmed: "As a result of an accident on Peuno beach, an 11-year-old minor who was playing with another child of the same age was killed."

Authorities say the victim was in the sixth grade of a nearby elementary school.

Both the boy and his pal lived near the beach, located near the mouth of the Chovelle River, and had gone to play at the beach unsupervised by their unsuspecting parents.

Lieutenant Felipe Sepulveda, from the Chanco police station, took the opportunity to warn parents to take care on the beach, saying: "Adults and parents should be present when all kinds of activities are carried out by minors, in order to avoid and prevent all kinds of accidents."

The tragedy is currently being investigated by the Cauquenes Criminal Investigation Brigade (Bicrim).

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