Two New York boys were trapped under several feet of snow for hours after being accidentally buried by a plow Wednesday, police say.
The boys, ages 9 and 11, were building a snow fort in a mound at a parking lot near a Newburgh apartment complex when a plow clearing the lot pushed more powder onto the pile, trapping the boys underneath, police say.
Police say the plow operator was clearing snow from the opposite side of the mound and wouldn't have known know he had buried the children.
The boys, who are cousins, were trapped under 6 or 7 feet of snow for hours in sub-freezing temperatures, police say, and one of their mothers set out looking for them when they didn't return by about 10 p.m. When she and other family members couldn't find the boys, they called police to report them missing.
Officers canvased the apartment complex for the cousins, knocked on doors and interviewed other children in the neighborhood. They eventually learned that the cousins had been building a snow fort in the parking lot of a health center near the apartment complex.
One officer went to the health center and found a shovel half-buried in the snow mound. He grabbed it and started digging, eventually unearthing a small snow boot.
The officer called for help and police, EMS workers and community members started digging for the boys. Some had shovels, while other clawed at the snow with bare hands. They eventually freed both of the children at about 2 a.m. Thursday.
Both boys were conscious but were taken to the hospital for exposure to the cold.
One of the officers who helped dig the boys out, Sgt. Aaron Weaver, described a frantic scene as he and others tried to free the boys.
"It was all just really adrenaline," Weaver said. " I wasn't thinking much. Just trying to get to the kids."
One of the boy's mothers thanked Newburgh Police for saving the children in an Instagram post Thursday.
"Today I am thankful my son and nephew are here and I would like to thank the Newburgh Police Officers who found my nephew and my son after searching for them," she said. "They found them at 2 am stuck in a huge snowpile that trapped them for several hours so I am very thankful today to have these two safe at home alive."
Newburgh had more than 6 inches of snow on Wednesday.