One man was completely buried and four other adults were briefly trapped Wednesday evening after snow fell from the roof of a Cambridge skating rink, a police spokesman said.
Four men and one woman were walking on a path between Gold Star Mothers Park and the Simoni Memorial Rink, just south of the McGrath Highway, when a “very compact” section of snow about 30 feet wide and up to 5 feet deep fell from the roof just past 6 p.m., said Jeremy Warnick, a Cambridge police spokesman.
A witness called police, who used snow shovels provided by people at the scene to begin the search for a 34-year-old Cambridge man, the twin brother of another man in the group, who was covered in snow, Warnick said.
His twin and other two men, ages 31 and 30, were briefly buried to the chest but were able to extricate themselves, Warnick said. A 20-year-old woman in the group was not completely buried but suffered injuries to her neck and shoulders, he said.
Cambridge firefighters came to assist the rescue effort, and the Somerville Department of Public Works provided two front-end loaders to remove remaining snow. All five who were hit by the snow had been accounted for by 6:23 p.m., Warnick said. He did not release their identities.
Warnick said the barrage was “really just a freak situation. They were very fortunate, particularly the person who was trapped underneath the snow.”
The woman and the 34-year-old man were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, one to Cambridge Hospital and the other to Massachusetts General Hospital, Warnick said, though he did not know who had gone to which hospital.
Warnick praised Somerville public works for their assistance.
“Our DPW’s been so consumed with snow removal services,” he said. “Their DPW actually supplied ... the front-end loaders at the scene, so they deserve a lot of credit.”
The ice rink is owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Warnick said State Police would remain at the scene overnight to keep the public from harm’s way, and that DCR would fence off the building.
A DCR spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.