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2 kids rescued from abandoned swimming pool; 1 in critical condition

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Officials pulled two unconscious children from a trash-filled pool at a St. Paul apartment building Monday afternoon, the fire department tweeted. One boy is in critical condition at the hospital.

Residents at the Princeton Place apartments, located on Arundel Street in St. Paul's North End, called 911 to report a boy in the pool who was in distress. Apparently the boy had jumped in to help his brother, but then also began struggling, FOX 9 reports.

When firefighters arrived, they couldn't see through the murky water, so they jumped in and began searching for the two boys, the Pioneer Press says, who have been identified as Sher Kpor, 7, and Ma Kpaw, 10, who both attend Frost Lake Elementary School in St. Paul, KSTP says.

"The water was really murky and filled with a lot of trash," Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard told the newspaper.

The boys were in the deep end of the pool, which firefighters estimate was filled with about 6 feet of water, FOX 9 notes. They were believed to be underwater for several minutes.

First responders were able to get one of the boys breathing and he is expected to survive, reports say. The other brother is listed in critical condition at the hospital, the fire department said on Twitter.

Officials are unsure how the boys, who are believed to have been guests at the apartment, got into the pool area. There is a 5-foot high fence and a locked gate around it, which rescue crews had to cut through to get in, KARE 11 says.

Zaccard told KSTP the property owner was following city code by having a fence and locked gate around the pool.

The owner of the building told WCCO the pool was in that condition when he bought the property two years ago and he has been working on getting it filled in to put a playground in its place. He added that he was unaware the pool was filled with water.

Officials have since drained the pool, the fire department tweeted.

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