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Police rescue man, dog from collapsed snow fort tunnel

Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:48 PM

HERMANTOWN, Minn., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Police say they saved a northern Minnesota man in his 30s and his dog trapped when a snow fort tunnel collapsed on them this past weekend.

Hermantown police Sgt. William Marsolek said the man's young son called 911 shortly before 5:30 p.m. Sunday to alert them to his father's predicament, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Marsolek said when he and officer Jon Pernu arrived at the scene they found the man face-down with 1-2 feet of snow on his upper body and his right leg and right elbow sticking out.

"The man was able to communicate with us, but I could tell his breathing was restricted from the weight of the snow on him," Marsolek said.

The two officers pulled him part way out but more snow collapsed on him and the dog. Marsolek said he and Pernu yanked on the man again, freeing him, and the dog also escaped, the newspaper said.

The man was found to be OK after being checked by emergency workers.

Marsolek said deep snow beneath the tunnel may have contributed to the man getting stuck by preventing him from being able to push against the snow above.

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