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Boy still in critical condition after being rescued from culvert

Last Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2009 | 2:22 PM CT

An eight-year-old boy remained in critical condition in a Winnipeg hospital Saturday after he was swept into a culvert and nearly drowned on Thursday.

Witnesses say Samuel Gross thought he was stepping onto a road covered with about 10 centimetres of water. Instead, he stepped on a culvert and was pulled under by the force of the flowing water, according to RCMP.

The incident happened on the Westroc Hutterite colony, about 35 kilometres northwest of Portage la Prairie, where Gross is a resident.

A relative, Gilbert Gross, was one of several adults who helped pull the boy out of the culvert. He estimates Samuel was under water for five to 10 minutes.

Gross described the boy's skin as being a blue shade when he was pulled out. After a few minutes of CPR, his regular colour started to return, Gross said.

An air ambulance arrived at the colony within 45 minutes and flew Samuel to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

The STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) Air Ambulance is based out of Alberta but has been in the city for about a week. The Manitoba government contracted the company to provide air rescue services during the flood season.

Gross said members of the Westroc colony have been constantly praying for Samuel.

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