Local police in Newburgh, New York, found two boys buried under a pile of snow after hours of digging Wednesday, and took them to a nearby hospital, reports said Thursday night. The two boys were buried under snow in a parking lot after a plow operator, unaware of their presence, dumped snow on them.

The boys, 9 and 11, had left their homes at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday to play in the parking lot near the intersection of Walsh Road and Dixon Street. The two were trapped under nearly 7 feet of snow for hours and were later taken by Mobile Life Support to St. Luke's Hospital for treatment. The parents of the children, who are cousins, began looking for them after they failed to return home by 10 p.m., and later called the police, ABC News reported.

After patrol officers spoke to several neighbors, they concluded that the two may be building a snow fort in the area of the Family Health Center, several yards from their home. The police canvassed the area and found a half-buried shovel in snow. After digging further, they found a snow boot. Both boys were conscious when they were found at about 2 a.m. on Thursday, reports said.

"It was all just really adrenaline," Sgt. Aaron Weaver, one of the officers who helped in the digging, said, according to NBC New York, adding: "I wasn't thinking much. Just trying to get to the kids."

The kids’ parents thanked the Newburgh police officers for helping save the children, one of whom was hospitalized for observation.

"Today I am thankful my son and nephew are here and I would like to thank the Newburgh Police Officers who found my nephew and my son after searching for them," one of the boys’ mothers said in an Instagram post, according to NBC New York, adding: "They found them at 2 am stuck in a huge snowpile that trapped them for several hours so I am very thankful today to have these two safe at home alive."

Newburgh lies about 60 miles north of New York City, and had received over half a foot of snow, according to The Associated Press.