NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Two boys trapped in a snow pile in the Hudson Valley for several hours after a plow buried them were able to survive thanks to an air pocket in the heavy, wet snow, New York police said Friday.
The two cousins – aged 11 and 9 – were building a snow fort Wednesday night near their apartment complex in Newburgh when a plow operator clearing a parking lot unknowingly pushed snow over them. A search was called that night after the boys’ parents became alarmed.
The boys were found conscious and suffering from exposure at about 2 a.m. Thursday after an officer spotted a shovel and then a small boot in the snow. Police say they were buried in about 5 feet of snow and had trouble moving their arms and legs.
“There must have been some sort of air bubble after the plow covered them up that let them breathe for so long,” Newburgh police dispatcher Ben Corrado said Friday.
Residents, some digging by hand, helped in the early-morning rescue.
“All I see was the feet. When I got over there, the little boy’s feet, was hanging out of the thing, and he was shaking, and his mother was like, ‘It’s all right, he’s there, he’s there. He was like, ‘Mommy, mommy,’ ” Takaiya Stevens told WCBS-TV.
The boys were taken to a hospital, where one was held for observation.
Police were not identifying the boys.
Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, had received more than a half-foot of snow Wednesday.