EDEN, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — Three people are dead and two remain missing after a group floating down a North Carolina river on inflatable tubes went over a dam, authorities said Friday.
One of the missing victims is 7 years old.
Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates told reporters that a group of nine people tubing on the Dan River went over the Duke Energy dam in Eden around sunset on Wednesday. A Duke Energy employee who saw some of the tubers called the situation in to 911 Thursday afternoon, Cates said.
The bodies recovered were those of Bridish Crawford, 27, of Eden, Antonio Ramon, 30, of Eden, and Sophie Wilson, 14, of La Porte, Indiana.
Teresa Villano, 30, of Eden, and Isiah Crawford, 7, of Eden, are still missing.
Those rescued were Rueben Villano, 35, of Eden, Eric Villano, 14, of Eden, Irene Villano, 18, of Eden, and Karlos Villano, 14, of La Porte, Indiana.
Boats and helicopters were used in the search in the county north of Greensboro along the Virginia state line.
“Though the outcome has been tragic for these people who have been recovered, at least for their family there have been some closure,” Cates said.
He added it’s not immediately clear why the tubers didn’t contact authorities sooner, but he said it may have been because they didn’t have phones with them.
He said it’s not unusual for people to float the river on tubes or rafts in the area but most get out and walk around the dam, which is marked by signs. The dam is approximately 8 feet tall, he said.
The Associated Press, Paul Choate/WGHP, Emily Mikkelsen/WGHP and Daryl Matthews/WGHP contributed to this report.