Officials warn of sand dune dangers after man's death in tunnel collapse

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Investigators are piecing together exactly how the man became trapped. (KTRK)

Park officials in Harris County are warning people to stay away from sand dunes created by flood waters after a 31-year-old man died when a cave he was digging into the side of a dune collapsed and killed him.

It happened in front of his young daughter at John Pundt Park in Spring.

PHOTOS: Man dies in freak sand dune accident

When it collapsed, his 5-year-old daughter ran for help.

The sand dune is at least 12 feet high, created by flood waters eroding the banks of Spring Creek.

Precinct 4 park officials say around 7pm Tuesday a 31-year-old man was digging a cave into the side of the sand dune when it collapsed, killing him.

Visitors to the park typically do not make it as far as Spring Creek, most having no idea the dune is even here.

Park officials say most of the time the sand along the creek is too dry and powdery to create a cave but right now the sand is still wet, allowing the victim to dig a tunnel four to eight feet deep before the roof caved in.'

His 5-year-old daughter ran to get help from near by fishermen who were unable to save the man.

Officials with Precinct Four say the the location of this sand dune is so far from the main areas of the park that getting a rescue crew here is not easy.

Harris County Precinct 4 Parks Director Dennis Johnston said, "It is always difficult to get down here across this sand, it is kind of remote down here, but this is one of many beaches that we have along the Spring Creek Greenway."

Park officials say there are dozens of the sand dunes all along Spring Creek, and they want everyone to know the dunes are not stable and you should not dig tunnels or caves into them because the dunes will collapse.
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