Boys survive 7 hours trapped beneath snow
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
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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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Assigned 47 times

  • marthad-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:21 a.m.

    How did they not get hungry wow they were under there? How did they breathe under there if they were trapped in 5 feet of snow.

  • edgarc-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:24 a.m.

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

  • troyc-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:29 a.m.

    I cant believe that those boys lasted for about seven hours!

  • camerond-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:29 a.m.

    I am glad that the two boys survived under that much snow.If that was me,I don't know what I would do.But the thing is they survived.So that is good.

  • briannar-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:33 a.m.

    oh my gosh i cant believe that they were trapped underneath snow for seven hours!

  • jamesm-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 10:34 a.m.

    I feel bad that those boys went through that and I wish it will never happen again.

  • jaidenb-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 01:16 p.m.

    I am glad that they found the kids. I think they found those kids with teamwork and the lords help so thank god.

  • ridleyt-Wre
    12/11/2014 - 01:21 p.m.

    WOW! That is a long time to be under snow that is five feet deep. How did they take that big block of ice for so long? That is amazing just to be that calm.They are tough!

  • BeckyA-5
    12/11/2014 - 08:39 p.m.

    This article is very sad. I couldn't imagine being under a pile of snow for 7 hours. I am very glad that they survived but at the same time very sad that it happened to them. I hope they live a very happy life and that they stay safe.

  • jahvona-Wre
    12/16/2014 - 10:19 a.m.

    wow that is a long time beneath snow and that would have been to cold for me

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