Two young boys were rescued on Thursday after being buried alive for several hours under a mound of snow.
The two cousins, aged 11 and nine, were building a snow fort on Wednesday night near their apartment in Newburgh in the Hudson Valley, New York state.
A snow plough operator began clearing the car park and accidentally and unknowingly pushed a pile of snow over the pair. That night, when the boys failed to return home, a search began.
Hours later, they were found conscious and suffering from exposure at 2 a.m. on Thursday after a police officer saw their shovel and a small boot near the pile of snow.
Video: Police and residents rescue the boys
Police state the pair were buried under about five feet of snow and had trouble moving their limbs.
Officials said that the two young boys managed to survive under the pile before they were rescued thanks to an air pocket in the heavy, wet snow.
The pair were brought out of the snow by police and the help of local residents who came out in force with their shovels to dig the boys out of the pile.
One Newburgh local, Takiaya Stevens, told the AP: "Everybody coming out with shovels and everybody working together, it was pretty amazing and it happened to be Thanksgiving-eve."
Newburgh Police Officer, Brandon Rola, explained the concern he had when trying to save the boys, worrying that they might be too late.
"When I first hit the boot, you know, I -- you just try and stay positive and hopeful and you know, like I said, a million emotions go through your mind and then when the other officer saw the boot move, you know, you've got that ray of hope," he said.
"Everybody just started working together, trying to get these kids out and as the snow kept coming off, you started to see more and more movement and you started to hear the voices and it was just a very great feeling."
Rola said seeing the look of joy in the boys' faces was a terrific feeling.Reuse content