Six young people — including one as young as 10 years old — fell through the ice in a pond near the southeast corner of Central Park early Monday evening. CBS talked to one of the teens.
McQueen said he and several of his friends wanted to take a group selfie, despite warning signs that the ice might be thin.
“We started to throw stuff on the ice to see if it would, and it wouldn’t break, so then we went on the ice,” he said.
McQueen was in horror the next thing he knew.
“Like, my chest was closing up, like, I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “We were all sinking down, and we were holding on to each other.”
Passers-by and emergency workers stepped up to rescue them. One of the rescuers said a boy was unconscious when he pulled him out. They were taken to different hospitals, and FDNY said the injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Witnesses and rescuers described what happened on social media:
@ethanturnbull and I tonight went out to Skateboard around Central Park. Passing a frozen lake we saw a group of 6 kids go though the ice. We ran over and immediately we're put in the toughest situation I think We will have to go through. 6 kids screaming for help being pulled down by each other, soaking backpacks and huge jackets. I had to make a decision to get in the middle of that or watch them drown. When I got about waste deep two of the kids jumped on top of me and pulled me under. I had to pick them both up and throw them to Ethan. I then grabbed a ladder and pulled the next 2 in. Behind them were two lifeless bodies that I knew I couldn't get too. I swam out and grabbed the last two guys and was able to get them to shore and keep them alive. I feel humbled and grateful that God called me to be there tonight, I'm still shaking and am completely shook by what I experienced, but I'm alive and so are 6 other kids who got very lucky tonight.
First time at Central Park and I witnessed drama! Group of boys decided to have a bit of Jolly on the "frozen" lake… started taking selfies and jumping on the ice… ice gave way and they went under… lucky for them, a passerby saw it and quickly threw a ladder in for them. Hopefully no one was hurt and a lesson for the kids to remember.
— FDNY (@FDNY) February 21, 2017