SOUTH LOS ANGELES ( — A 16-year-old boy nearly drowned in a swimming pool at a South L.A. high school Monday afternoon, authorities reported.

Paramedics were called to West Adams Preparatory High School at around 3 p.m., Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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The incident began when a group of boys were playing soccer at or near the high school and their ball fell into a gated pool area, according to the LAPD.

Three boys climbed into the pool area to retrieve the ball and decided to take a swim.

When two of the boys exited the pool they noticed the third member of their group didn’t come out.

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One of the teens met firefighters outside the school and said his friend needed help, Scott said. The campus was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and crews used a power rotary saw to force their way in. Firefighters jumped the fence surrounding the pool, also throwing their gear over, to help the teenager.

The 16-year-old was given medical attention at the scene and rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

“Fortunately, due to aggressive efforts, the patient was showing signs of improvement,” Scott said.

It’s unknown whether the teen goes to the school.

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L.A. Unified School District police and LAPD officers spoke to the teens and their parents Monday evening to determine how the incident occurred.