Sand burial boy 'sure he would die'

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The Independent US

A teenager who was buried in 6ft of sand while digging a trench on a California beach said he was certain he would die before rescuers pulled him to safety.

Matt Mina, 17, said he passed out after a few minutes, but before he lost consciousness he thought of his family and friends.

He says he did not know if anyone knew he was buried or could hear his screams.

Matt, from Free Union, Virginia, was visiting his aunt and uncle in Orange County and had been spending Wednesday at Newport Beach with his cousin.

He was buried alive after digging a 6ft deep pit and attached trench which suddenly collapsed.

It took dozens of rescuers about 30 minutes to dig him out.

Matt's mother Melissa thanked the bystanders and emergency crews who came to his rescue.

Beachgoers sprang to his aid, using anything available to dig for him. Firefighters and lifeguards eventually got him out.

Ms Mina said she asked her son by phone how it felt to be buried alive and he commented on how heavy the sand was.