Search ends for woman reportedly swept away in Blue River

08/07/2014 8:44 AM

08/07/2014 5:16 PM

Rescue crews that searched the Blue River for one or more people reportedly lost in swift water during Wednesday night’s heavy rain ended their efforts Thursday afternoon without success.

They do not plan to return Friday.

“It was a very thorough search,” said Todd Ackerson, rescue division chief at the Kansas City Fire Department.

“On searches of this type, it is really a one-in-a-million shot that a person can be found on the surface or caught in debris,” Ackerson said. “A lot of times they go right to the bottom.”

Nine rescue personnel using three inflatable Zodiac crafts searched the river from near East 63rd Street and Lewis Road south to near East 87th Street, where a missing woman apparently had been swept away.

The firefighters began at 8:30 a.m. and worked until around 3:30 pm. Those aboard a Kansas City police helicopter that flew the length of the waterway to where it meets the Missouri River also saw nothing.

It was unclear just how the person fell into the water. Some reports included two people who had been lost.

“We were looking for anything,” Ackerson said. “While we heard conflicting reports of the possiblity of there being two people, it didn’t change our search patterns.”

The initial emergency call was made by a family member of a missing woman, according to a Kansas City police spokeswoman. The family member had received a message from a companion of the woman who apparently declined to call 911 for fear of being arrested on outstanding warrants.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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