Park Officials Indefinitely Close Indiana Dune Where Boy Fell

Nathan Woessner remains in critical but stable condition

The Indiana dune where a 6-year-old boy fell and became trapped for hours in crushing sand has been closed indefinitely, the National Park Service announced.
The closure of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Mount Baldy was extended to "bring in additional resources for the investigation of the hole that opened up on July 12," park officials said.

Nathan Woessner spent three-and-a-half hours trapped in the sand after he suddenly fell and remains in critical but stable condition, spokesman Matt Wood said Wednesday.

Doctors said Woessner remained under sedation this week and is breathing with a ventilator until his lungs can fully function. The breathing tube could be removed by the end of the week, Dr. Tracy Koogler said, and he'll likely be released from the hospital in 10-14 days.

The Park Service said evidence shows the hole may have been created by a long-buried tree that decomposed, leaving a void in the sand.

Officials plan to bring in ground-sensing equipment to look at under the dune and check for voids and other potential hazards.

"Park officials stress that the closure is being strictly enforced to protect the public," officials said.

The closure includes Mount Baldy, its parking lot, trails and beach area.

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