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5 kids unresponsive after car lands in St. Louis Park pond

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — A car veered off a rain-slicked highway in suburban Minneapolis early Thursday, landing in a nearby holding pond and trapping five children underwater for several minutes.

The children's conditions weren't immediately known, although St. Louis Park city spokeswoman Jamie Zwilling said they were unresponsive when they were pulled from the car. The driver of the car, a 23-year-old woman, made it out safely on her own.

Lt. Eric Roeske, a spokesman for the Minnesota Highway Patrol, said the children — ages 1, 5, 5, 6 and 7 — were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to calls from The Associated Press.

The woman's relationship to the children wasn't immediately known, Roeske said, and names won't be released until families are notified.

The crash happened about 6:16 a.m. at the junction of Highways 7 and 100 in St. Louis Park, a western Minneapolis suburb. Roeske said the car veered left off a ramp and plunged down a slope into the pond about 40 to 50 yards from the roadway.

Passersby who saw the car attempted to rescue the children, but it was submerged in 8 to 9 feet of cold water. Roeske said city fire department and the Hennepin County dive team worked to get the car out.

Roeske said it wasn't clear whether speed was a factor in the crash. The road was wet from light mist, but not icy, he said.