The National Park Service has extended the closure of Indiana
Dunes National Lakeshore’s Mount Baldy indefinitely.
The extension is needed to bring in additional resources for
the investigation of the hole that opened up on July 12 trapping a six-year
old boy for 3 ˝ hours. The boy was rescued and is currently in critical
condition at a Chicago hospital.
Based on evidence gathered at the scene, park officials are
looking into the possibility that the hole was created by a long-buried tree
that had decomposed leaving a void in the sand. While no such occurrence has
ever been observed in the park, officials plan to bring in ground sensing
equipment to look under the surface of the dune to see if voids or other
potential hazards can be identified.
Additional expertise is being sought from the Geologic
Resource Division of the National Park Service and other sources.
A safety protocol is also being developed before park staff
or researchers are allowed onto Mt. Baldy.
Park officials stress that the closure is being strictly
enforced to protect the public.
The closure includes, Mount Baldy, its parking lot, trails
and beach area.
Signs are posted warning of the closure. Anyone entering the
closed area is subject to law enforcement action.