Boy, 9, in critical condition after being partially buried in snow

A nine-year-old boy is in a Winnipeg hospital in critical condition after his mother and neighbours found him partially buried in a snowbank.

Winnipeg police confirmed to CBC News that the boy was rushed to hospital in critical condition at around 8 p.m. Wednesday, following an incident in the city's Fort Richmond neighbourhood.

Police believe the boy may have been in a tunnel or snow fort. It's not known how long the child was under the snow.

Neighbours told CBC News on Thursday that the child was seen outside playing on a snowbank at around 6:15 p.m., and about an hour later his mother found him partially buried.

One neighbour said several adults used their bare hands to dig out the boy, who was unconscious and had a lot of snow on his chest and midsection. Neighbours performed CPR on him.

One of the neighbours, Cathy Kinsman, said no one seems to know what exactly went wrong — if the boy was injured while playing, or if he was digging inside the snowbank.

"He was playing in the snow. He loved to be outside," she said.

"I don't know whether he was tunnelling or building a fort or what, but he was really stuck in the snow."

Neighbours said the boy is currently on a ventilator, trying to breathe on his own.

Police said the incident is not believed to be suspicious.