The death of a 19-year-old Master's College student after a sand pit collapsed on him at Oxnard Beach Park was ruled accidental Thursday, said Cmdr. Eric Sonstlegard, with Oxnard Police.
Mingyu "Paul" Sang died from mechanical asphyxia, meaning he had outside force compressing on his chest, according to the Ventura County Coroner.
Sang, who moved to the United States from South Korea about five years ago, died from injuries suffered Wednesday after a pit that he and other students had dug caved in around him. He was pronounced dead at Ventura County Medical Center.
Witnesses told NBC4 that the sand pit was about 6 feet deep.
The victim climbed into the sand pit to take a photo, according to fire-rescue officials. The rescue operation -- crews used their hands and tools to dig into the pit -- took about 15 minutes.
"It's a well-populated beach, but there was nobody there to make contact with these individuals about digging deep and how dangerous it is," said Oxnard Fire Department Battalion Chief Darwin Base.
Sang resided with a family in the Stevenson Ranch area.
The following statement was posted Thursday morning on the Master's College web site:
"Students from The Master's College were participating in a recreational trip to the beach on Wednesday afternoon. At approximately 4:50 p.m., one of our students was involved in an accident. The student had been digging in the sand when he became trapped. The Ventura County fire department was called. The student was rescued and transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
"The college is focused at this time on caring for the student's immediate family, his local church family, and our student body. We have confidence through the student’s testimony that his trust was in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and we take comfort in knowing that he is with the Lord. It is our prayer that our God will provide comfort to all those who are grieving at this time."
The Master's College is located on Placerita Canyon Road in Santa Clarita..
There will be no further investigation into Sang's death, Oxnard police officials said.