Rescue Teams Break Through Ice on Lake in Search for Teens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Search crews spent hours scouring a frozen lake in New Jersey for any sign of two teenagers last seen near the frigid waters. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

    Rescue dive teams have suspended their search for two teenagers at a reported ice collapse on a Morris County, N.J. lake.

    The search at Budd Lake will resume Tuesday morning, and emergency personnel are staying on the scene through the night to keep the area secure, authorities said. 

    Mount Olive Police said they received several 911 calls before 6:30 p.m. reporting someone screaming for help on the ice at Budd Lake. 

    One of the 911 callers, William Hardy, lives across the lake with a friend and told NBC 4 New York the two heard the screams and walked to the lake to investigate. 

    "We heard some individuals calling for help, saying, 'Please help us. Please save us, someone help,'" said Hardy.

    Hardy ventured onto the ice to locate the voices but could not safely get far enough to reach them. 

    "I took the flashlight and walked out about 800 feet," he said. "They're still another 100 feet in front of me, the ice is cracking. I can see a cell phone, I can still hear them. They're still talking to me and then the firefighters came." 

    Dive and rescue teams from Mount Olive and seven other nearby towns arrived to assist in the search, said Morris County prosecutor Fred Knapp. They broke through 400 feet of ice in an attempt to reach where it's believed the teens were but were unable to locate them. 

    Knapp said the families of the teens have been notified but it's still unclear if they're lost.

    New Jersey State Police sent a helicopter over the scene, and deployed a tactical squad to assist Mount Olive Police rescuers. 

    Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum said it was difficult to assess the ice conditions on the lake and noted many people have ventured out on it. It's not clear what the teens were doing on the ice. 

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