The New York Police Department released video Sunday that shows one officer struggling to make his way through chest-deep waters in a hallway. The officer is also seen reaching into the murky water, then submerging himself into the water and coming back up with what appeared to be a bag of clothes.
Toys were also seen floating in the water.
Officers responded to an unconfirmed report of people in a flooded basement on Wednesday. When they arrived at the building, around 10 p.m., they were met with rising waters.
According to the NYPD, the officers were forced to call for the fire department’s assistance due to the locked doors, rising water levels, and live electricity.
Police said that Lobsang Ang, 2, along with his mother Mingma Sherpa, 48, and father Ang Lama, 50, were found dead in their basement apartment before rescuers could get to them.
Deborah Torres, the family’s upstairs neighbor, said water rapidly filled her first-floor apartment to her knees as her landlord frantically urged her neighbors below to get out. But the water was rushing in so strongly that she surmised they weren’t able to open the door to escape.