The girl and her older brother were playing near the shoreline of a creek in Flygsfors near Orrefors in southern Sweden before venturing out on the ice when it suddenly gave way, sending both of them crashing into the icy water.
While the girl’s brother managed to pull himself out of the water and make it back to shore, he was unable to help his sister and instead ran back to his house to alert his mother about the accident.
By the time the mother arrived, the 6-year-old girl had drifted under the ice about 20 metres away from the hole where she and her brother had fallen in.
However, the mother was able spot the girl through the clear ice, finding the girl was about three to four metres from shore.
“She then stomped and hit the ice and managed, after a few minutes, to break through. She then sunk into the water herself,” emergency services worker Per Persson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
A number of other people who were out for a walk in the area came to assist in the dramatic rescue, extending long branches out to the mother and daughter, who were eventually helped back to shore.
Three of the onlookers then began attempting to resuscitate the girl.
“The girl was on shore and they had been working for about five minutes before we arrived,” Persson told the TT news agency.
The girl was then taken to the intensive care unit of the Kalmar hospital for treatment of injuries described by the hospital as serious.