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, 11-year-old Elijah Martinez and 9-year-old Jason Rivera, were building a snow fort last week 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. So they could do nothing as they heard the anguished cries nearby. 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 and 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, calling police and searching 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 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, with Jason dressed in plaid pajamas and Elijah still wearing his snow pants and a black sweatshirt with skulls. They said they wanted to eat and go to Disney World when they got home from the hospital. Jason's mother said she wasn't sure when they would be discharged.

Critical thinking challenge: Which clue" led rescuers to the boys?

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  • CameronS-2
    12/03/2014 - 07:28 p.m.

    This article is about two boys in New York that almost died from a snow blower by getting stuck under a pile of snow were they could barley breath.The two boys were stuck under the pile of snow for seven hours and they used one boys face mask to keep there hands warm because one lost there mittens.I am glad to know that the two boys are still a live what they thought they would not survive this unreal situations.I think that New York should be carful with their snow blowers because of what it exports out of it that can be on kids on the side walks to kids playing in the snow.

  • AutumnL-Cal
    12/03/2014 - 07:45 p.m.

    The article "Boys survive seven hours trapped beneath snow" by Michael Hill tells the incredible story of two boys that were buiried alive by a snowplow. They preserved body heat by snuggling together and shared aface mask. Everyone frantically helped search for the boys.eventually someone saw one of their boots and found them alive. Now they're home safe and sound.

  • QuinnC-Cal
    12/03/2014 - 08:05 p.m.

    The clue that led to finding the boys was that there was child sized boot marks in the snow and were they ended the office got a shovel and dug.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    12/03/2014 - 08:17 p.m.

    I think this is amazing because the boys were trapped under snow for about seven hours. Everyone was worried. If one of the police didn't see the boot, then the boys would have been goners. They would have suffered from no oxygen and they would have gotten frostbite. I wonder how the snow blower did not see the two boys when they were building a snow fort. I am glad that the boys were still alive because they would have not survived under 5 feet of snow for 7 hours.
    Critical thinking challenge: Which clue" led rescuers to the boys?
    Answer: Rescuers seeing the sole of a child's boot led them to the boys.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    12/03/2014 - 08:22 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing for 2 boys to survive when they are covered with snow. It's more amazing because they were able to survive it for 7 hours. I think that these boys are like those people who go the North Pole to see if they can survive. I hope that the 2 boys won't get stuck under snow again and they are not going to make their mom cry/sad again.
    Critical thinking challenge: Which clue" led rescuers to the boys?
    Answer: A clue that led the rescuers to find the boys were the footprints.

  • LukeL-Cal
    12/03/2014 - 08:25 p.m.

    that's crazy the kids got stuck in snow and couldn't get out for 7 hours. they had so Meany people looking for then. that would be miserable being in a hole of snow for that long.

  • JessicaB-Cal
    12/03/2014 - 08:32 p.m.

    In the passage boys trapped for seven hours underneath snow by the web sit tween tribune two cousins Elijah and Jason where out playing in the snow when a plow covered them with snow, police and family members searched for the boys for seven hours.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    12/03/2014 - 08:42 p.m.

    I think that it is cool to have some kids that were making a fort and then a pile of snow covering them and they almost died. I just winder how it felt to have been under so much snow and not die. I just think that having these boys survive something like that is the awesome part of this article. I just hope that these kids can be more safe when they see a snow plow coming from their backs so that they don't get covered in snow again. I just hope that these kids can be able to play in snow when they are able to; I hope that their parents allows them to play in the snow again even if they almost died. I just hope that these kids and be awesome kids and I hope them the best.

  • Seth-Arm
    12/03/2014 - 10:19 p.m.

    I say that the two "clues" were the sole of one of the children's boots and the footprints that were rapidly fading away because of the snow.

  • BeckettN-2
    12/03/2014 - 11:52 p.m.

    This article is about two cousins who were stuck under five feet of snow for 7 hours. The two boys, 11-year-old Elijah and 9-year-old Jason, were builing a snow fort when a snow plow unknowingly pushed snow over them, burying them. Thier parents eventually found them alive after relentless searching. I think this is a lesson that people should be a little more careful when operating heavy machinery.

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