Crews search river for 2 missing men who tried to save boy

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Recovery crews searched Wednesday for two men who were swept away by fast-moving water in a rain-swollen drainage ditch in Milwaukee after jumping in to try to save a 10-year-old boy.

A volunteer helping to search the shoreline found the boy’s body Tuesday, more than a mile away in the conjoining Kinnickinnic River, officials said. The youngster was identified by family as Mohammad Arman, who would have turned 11 on July 4.

Family members said the child’s father and a family friend followed the boy into the drainage ditch Monday evening. Witnesses said the men, ages 34 and 37, and the child were swept into a tunnel that runs under a road.

Crews are searching the river for the missing men by land and boat covering a stretch of water about 5 miles (8 kilometers) long, said Deputy Fire Chief Will Kowalski. Divers are on standby, he said.

Members of Milwaukee’s fire and police departments, Office of Emergency Management, the Metropolitan Sewage District and the National Weather Service searched a series of tunnels in the drainage ditch Tuesday, but did not find anything.

Fire Chief Aaron Lipski said temperatures in the 90s and high humidity made search conditions challenging Tuesday.

“You can see that it’s wearing heavy on everybody,” he said.

Family friend, Hamilah Hassan, who was watching the recovery operation from the shoreline, said the close-knit community is in need of closure.

“Everybody kept fainting. No one is eating. Everyone is stressed about it,” Hassan told WITI-TV.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.