An Indo-Canadian teenager is fighting for his life and his 11-year old friend is dead after plunging through the frozen surface of a pond in Ontario.
Relatives identified the dead boy as Brunthan Nadarajah and 15-year-old Kishoban Alakeswaran as the boy who is listed in critical condition, according to the Star newspaper.
Rescuers struggled for nearly an hour Sunday before they could pluck Kishoban and Brunthan from the frigid waters of the small water retention pond.
The nightmare began as a group of five young friends were walking across a field, taking a shortcut as they headed for a soccer game.
As the boys walked past a pond, Kishoban and Brunthan, ignoring warnings from their friends, stepped out on the ice and began skipping stones across the frozen pond surface.
Kishoban went through first, disappearing beneath the water as Brunthan, a Grade 6 student scrambled to save him.
"Kishoban quickly disappeared under the water," one of the boys said.
Brunthan struggled to stay afloat on his back, keeping his head out of the water, yelling "Save me! Save me! I can't breathe," the boy added.
However, Kishoban was the first to be pulled out, and rushed by ambulance to the nearest local hospital.
Horrified bystanders said it took significantly longer before rescuers had Brunthan back on shore. He was immediately loaded into an air ambulance and rushed to Sick Kids.
"It breaks your heart," said Sebastian Chiaramida, 44, one of Brunthan's neighbours. "It's been a traumatic day for everybody. It hurts, you've got young kids. Things like this always seem to happen around Christmas time."
Four police officers involved in the rescue had to be taken to hospital for hypothermia but were released after treatment.