DENVER (AP) _ A 6-year-old Aurora boy was smothered in sand, apparently after he got stuck trying to burrow under a playground climbing platform and panicked, authorities said.

The accident occurred at about noon Friday at a park near Denver Children's Museum.

Cameron Judkins was on a field trip from Tollgate Elementary School in Aurora and was waiting with classmates for a trolley ride, said Denver police Detective David Metzler.

''It looks like he was digging in the sand underneath some playground equipment and got stuck and the sand caved in or something,'' Metzler said.

Police said Cameron apparently ingested a large amount of sand. He died a short time after the accident at Denver General Hospital.

Bruce Alexander, the director of Denver's parks system, said the playground equipment was inspected recently and the park has been regularly maintained.