Palatine, IL (WLS) — Two children had to be rescued from a frozen pond in the northwestern suburbs Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities were unable to disclose their condition, but witnesses say both were in the water for several minutes.
Palatine firefighters pulled two boys out of the water at about 3:31 p.m. on Block 800 of Panorama Drive, police said.
Witnesses could only watch helplessly as fire department divers launched a frantic search.
“It’s a feeling I’ve never felt in my life, like watching two kids go through something like that,” said DeAndre Boatman.
Boatman said he heard a woman screaming around 2:30 p.m. at “The Clayson,” the Palatine housing complex that surrounds the pond.
“So we ran out of the house, and when I left the house I looked to my left and saw two kids gasping out of the water,” Boatman recalls. .
The boatman said his brother-in-law and the mother of the two boys appeared to have fallen through the ice and tried to approach the children, but the ice was too thin and the water too cold.
All they could do was wait for rescuers.
One of the boys, believed to be about 4 years old, was in the water for about 10 minutes before being spotted by rescue divers, according to eyewitnesses.
A neighbor filmed the moment a diver spotted a second boy. ABD Blurred Children’s Video.
Witnesses said the child, who appeared to be about seven years old, was in the water for about 20 minutes.
“It was truly tragic, as one of the most tragic events I have ever witnessed in my life,” Boatman said.
Both boys were taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.
Police are investigating how the boys got to the pond.Residents said there were signs warning them to stay away from the water.