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Thin ice warning: Two rescued from roof of truck after it falls into icy lake

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It's been bitterly cold across the state with more frigid air on the way, but ice on some Minnesota lakes remains unsafe.

Two west central Minnesota men found that out the hard way. Forum News reports that the two were in a Battle Lake man’s pickup truck on the northwest corner of Otter Tail Lake on Friday night when the pickup plunged through a thin layer of ice near a pressure ridge.

KFGO reports that Robert Karst, 75, of Battle Lake called 911 to report that he and his passenger had managed to crawl onto the roof of the vehicle and were stranded on the partially submerged truck. The truck had apparently fallen through a shallow pool of water that had formed near the ridge and had been kept from falling through by thicker ice underneath.

Ottertail Fire and Rescue got to the stranded men with an ATV and brought them back to shore unharmed, sheriff’s officials said.

The LakeIce website notes that pressure ridges are hazardous and driving over them a"ccounts for a significant portion" of ice-related deaths. Pressure ridges are described as compression ruptures that form as long cracks in broad sheets of ice.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers a continual reminder that no ice is guaranteed to be safe.

"You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow," the DNR's website stresses. "Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions."

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