Boys survive 7 hours trapped beneath snow The snowbank in which cousins Jason Rivera and Elijah Martinez built their snow fort sits at the corner of a parking lot in Newburg, New York. Nine-year-old Jason Rivera and Elijah Martinez, 11, appear at left (AP photos)
Boys survive 7 hours trapped beneath snow
Lexile

Two boys, trapped in a snow pile for about seven hours after a plow buried them, could hear their worried family's cries. But they couldn't respond loudly enough to be heard. Police credited an air pocket with saving their lives.

The two cousins are 11-year-old Elijah Martinez and 9-year-old Jason Rivera. They were building a snow fort. It was across the street from Elijah's apartment in Newburgh, N.Y. That's when a plow operator who was clearing a parking lot unknowingly pushed snow over them.

Buried in about 5 feet of snow, they could barely move and couldn't breathe very well. Jason lost his gloves. His hat flew off. They relied on each other to stay alive, they said. They shared Elijah's face mask to try and keep their hands warm. They talked to each other so they wouldn't fall asleep.

"I felt so tired. It didn't feel real that they were coming to get us," Elijah said at a news conference at the hospital where the boys were recovering.

Meanwhile, their parents were growing more frantic. They called police and searched through the snowy streets for the children who were mere feet from the apartment.

"I just kept telling myself: 'This is not true. This is not real,'" said Jason's mom, Aulix Martinez. "It was just scary, and as time went on, it got scarier. I was begging the police to please find them."

Neighbor Takiaya Stevens told The Associated Press that police rallied help for the search.

"The cops were coming to all the neighbors' houses. They were knocking on doors. They were ringing bells asking for shovels, asking for help," she said. "The neighbors came out. Everyone tried to join in the search for the little boys."

Officer Brandon Rola spotted footprints that were disappearing as more snow fell. Then he saw a shovel.

"I felt led to dig," he said.

Rescuers, seeing the sole of a child's boot, dug faster as residents joined in the rescue. Some dug with their bare hands.

"When I first hit the boot, you just try and stay positive and hopeful," Rola said. "You get that ray of hope and everybody just started working together trying to get these kids out. And as the snow kept coming come off, you started to see more and more movement and then you started to hear the voices and it was a very great feeling."

The boys were conscious but suffering from exposure.

"I felt so happy," Elijah said. "Everything we went through just fell right off my back."

"I'm just glad they got that big block off my chest, that was heavy," Jason said.

The cousins appeared healthy Friday. Jason was dressed in plaid pajamas and Elijah still wearing his snow pants and a black sweatshirt with skulls. They said

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COMMENTS (36)
  • kiera17-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:31 p.m.

    this is so sad these boys got stuck in the snow for 7 hours i hope are okay. By:Turtle lover

  • kiera17-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:33 p.m.

    this is so sad these boys got stuck in the snow for 7 hours i hope are okay. By:Turtle lover

  • elia3-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:33 p.m.

    That is amazing that you guys stayed alive i can barely stay outside & plus i would be screaming crying

    it seamed like you guys were relaxed.

  • jacob4-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:37 p.m.

    That is very cool that those boys survived trapped under the snow for seven hours.I also think that it was nice that they were keeping each other warm when they were in the snow

  • mya18-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:38 p.m.

    I am happy that someone could find the boys because if they didn't there family's would be heart broken . They are very brave for being in that snow for 7 hours and 5 feet deep. I would not be as calm as they seemed to be.



    from: basketball83

  • avery1-Bla
    12/08/2014 - 02:55 p.m.

    I am very happy that Elijah and Jason is alive and happily in there houses and safe .

    • rodrigov-Wre
      12/11/2014 - 10:28 a.m.

      i think it was a miricle
      but thank god they are still alive

  • TrinityO-Mau
    12/09/2014 - 11:34 a.m.

    how could they be alive when they were under snow for a hole seven hours.but that is crazy how they survived.

  • ericp-Wre
    12/10/2014 - 01:22 p.m.

    it is good that the kids lived.and am happy there ok.

  • edgarc-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:19 a.m.

    i feel bad for those kids and i cant believe they survived after 7 hours and wow the hole neiborhood searched plus the police

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