Child Pulled Out of Indiana Sinkhole Alive

Six-year-old's condition is critical after nearly four hours in hole

A 6-year-old boy who spent more than three hours in an Indiana sinkhole was pulled out alive Friday evening.

Emergency officials told NBC News that the boy was flown to a Chicago hospital for treatment, and NBC News has learned that he's in "critical condition."

John Easton, a spokesperson at Comer Children's Hospital, said the boy is currently on a ventilator in critical condition but is responding well.

A statement released from the hospital read:

"The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital does have the 6-year-old boy from the Michigan incident. He is listed in critical condition, but when he arrived he was able to respond to simple commands and he has responded well to mechanical ventilation.

"His parents want to extend their deepest thanks to the Michigan City fire and police departments and all the authorities, private companies and individuals who contributed to the rescue effort. They also ask that people include this little boy in their prayers."

The boy fell inside the hole sometime after 4 p.m. at Mt. Baldy in Michigan City, Ind.

Officials say he was found 11 feet down in the sand. Michigan City Fire Chief Ronnie Martin said his crews used heavy machinery to locate the boy. 

A park spokesman said the boy's family did not see him fall inside the hole, but saw him inside and tried to dig him out.

Officials said the incident occurred in a restoration area that is blocked off from traffic.

The family is believed to be from Illinois.

Portions of the park will remain closed until Sunday while police continue to investigate the incident.

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