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Backyard Tunnel Collapse Suffocates Teen

December 22, 1994

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A tunnel being dug by three teen-agers in a backyard collapsed Wednesday, suffocating one of the boys.

Christopher Camp, 16, was buried under damp, clay-like dirt for more than five hours before rescuers could reach him. Efforts by the more than 30 workers were hampered by additional cave-ins, police said.

Nelson Rodriguez, 15, was rescued after being buried up to his armpits. He was examined at a hospital and released. The third boy, 16-year-old Wayne Anthony Tepper, was not injured and went for help for his friends.

The tunnel in Tepper’s backyard was about 7 feet wide and 10 to 12 feet deep, authorities said.

The boys began digging the tunnel Sunday for no particular reason, Tepper said. They had set up a tarp over their excavation site and were attempting to dig deeper Wednesday when the walls collapsed.

″We were bored,″ Tepper said. ″We had nothing to do.″

The hole was filled after Camp’s body was removed.

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