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OXNARD (AP) — Officials say a 19-year-old exchange student from South Korea who died when a sand pit he had lain in collapsed around him was at a beach party in Oxnard for incoming students from a small Christian college.

Coroner’s investigator Craig Stevens tells the Ventura County Star on Thursday that Mingyu “Paul” Sang died accidentally, from asphyxia with suffocation.

Provost Mark Tatlock says Sang was an incoming freshman to The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, where classes start Monday.

Sang, along with other students and staff at the Wednesday orientation event dug a hole that was 6-to-8 feet deep then climbed inside it.

The pit collapsed around him and buried him.

Tatlock says Sang was a native of Seoul who had lived in Santa Clarita for several years.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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