Boy rescued after hours trapped under sand dune

Updated at 6:52 p.m. ET

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. A 6-year-old boy was trapped for hours under a sand dune near Lake Michigan Friday before being rescued, CBS affiliate WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind., reports.

The boy was trapped for nearly three-and-a-half hours and found 11 feet under the sand.

"This is unprecedented," park ranger Bruce Rowe said. "As they were trying to free him, the hole, quote, 'completely collapsed,' burying him so they could no longer see him," Rowe told WSBT-TV.

The boy's family then made a frantic 911 call. First responders arrived 15 minutes later and had to watch out for their own safety while they quickly worked to find the boy.

"I'm sure almost everyone has dug a hole in the sand on the beach," said Rowe. "You know you can't get a very steep angle on your hole. It's going to keep collapsing down on itself."

Two local excavating companies also helped with the dig.

Just after 8 p.m. Friday night, work stopped when the boy's family saw his head.

A lifeguard pickup truck drove the boy to a waiting ambulance. He was then driven to an area hospital and then flown to another hospital in Chicago in unknown condition.

After it was all done, some who helped find the boy were overcome with emotion.

"Measurements have been taken, the area's been investigated," said Rowe. "We're going to look over the entire dune area, obviously once it's light again, to figure out what happened and why."