A nine-year-old boy is dead after being pulled from a snow bank northwest of Orangeville on Wednesday.

Police responded to the incident at about 3:30 p.m. in the Township of Amaranth in Dufferin County.

Local boy Zachary Currie had been playing in the snow just steps from his house. 

OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell said he was found in the snow bank and was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The boy's mother was on the scene and was taken to the hospital by police to be with her son.

"I did hear screaming next door — I thought it was the kids playing," said neighbour Karen Crosbie

Nancekivell said police are still investigating the incident and do not want to speculate about what the boy was doing in the snow bank. Early reports suggested a snow fort had collapsed. 

"We're not sure whether it was a snow fort or not," said Nancekivell. "There was a hole dug into the bank."

Grief counsellors have been called in to St. Benedict elementary school, where classmates learned today of Zachary's death. 

With files from The Canadian Press