A heartbreaking video has emerged that shows a NYPD cop making a futile effort to save a 2-year-old and his family when he wades through chest-deep water inside a flooded apartment in Queens following the Hurricane Ida. Unfortunately, the entire family including the toddler died trapped inside the flooded basement apartment.
The harrowing video shows the officer standing in dirty water nearly reaching his shoulders in the staircase leading to the door of the family's basement apartment, with a light on overhead. He can be seen making a desperate effort to pull out the family but they soon get drowned.
The gut-wrenching video shows the NYPD officer trying to wade through the dirty water, which is so deep that the door to the family's apartment is completely submerged beneath it. The footage was getting captured on the bodycam of another unseen officer.
As he tries to move forward to reach the family, a brown teddy bear and other soft toys can be seen floating by, according to the footage tweeted out by the NYPD on Sunday. "Without special equipment they made valiant efforts. Locked doors, rising water level & live electricity forced the officers to call for the @FDNY,'' the NYPD wrote.
However, despite the desperate effort made by the cops to save the family, they couldn't. The family of three comprising 50-year-old Ang Gelu Lama, 48-year-old Mingma Sherpa and their son, 2-year-old Lobsang Lama, had all drowned before rescuers could get to them.
The video shows the officer eventually diving into the water for several seconds. The other officer whose also goes under the water as his bodycam can be seen then recording underwater. The footage also shows just how dirty and murky the liquid was, with visibility close to zero.
This was also partly responsible for hampering rescue operations. The officer then called FDNY to help them in their rescue operation but it was too late for the family of three. The police department later confirmed that three bodies were found drowned inside the in their basement apartment on 64th Street in Woodside, Queens on Thursday morning when officers were finally able to get inside.
An NYPD spokeswoman said the footage was from the department's attempts to rescue the Queens family.
According to police, water from the flash flood following Hurricane Ida started flooding into the family's basement apartment around 9:30pm on Wednesday. Soon after that Sherpa frantically dialed her upstairs neighbor for help, Choi Sledge told The New York Times.
"The water is coming in right now...The water coming in from the window!" Sherpa purportedly yelled down the phone to Sledge, who lives on the complex's third floor. Sledge told The New York Times that she urged the family to "get out" and make their way upstairs but when Sledge tried to call back minutes later there was no answer.
The family probably had drowned by that time. So far 11 people have accidentally drowned in basement apartments in New York following the Hurricane Ida.