The father of a boy who almost suffocated when a pile of dirt collapsed on him in Twizel, says other children courageously tried to dig him out.
The 12-year-old boy is in a stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Dunedin Hospital.
His father, Craig Miller, said his son was digging in the side of a mound of dirt with three friends, when it collapsed covering his son.
Mr Miller said his son was suffocating in the dirt, but his three friends made a courageous attempt to dig him out, before seeking help from the adults.
Mr Miller then pulled his son out of the dirt and he was taken to hospital by helicopter.