Search effort suspended for car that plunged into Ohio River

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2016 1:22 PM
Search effort suspended for car that plunged into Ohio River

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — Search and recovery efforts were suspended early Wednesday for a car that plunged into the Ohio River after a massive pileup on a bridge leading from Kentucky to Cincinnati.

Water rescue officials say the river's current level and strong current make it unsafe, said Campbell County Director of Emergency Management William Turner.

"The river is still supposed to rise over the next couple of days, so it's just not safe to put rescuers in," he said.

He said officials would likely reassess the situation Saturday.

Boone County Water Rescue Director Dale Appel was quoted by The Kentucky Enquirer as saying that the river's current is moving at 4 mph, eight times its normal speed.

"The river is out of control for major operations," Appel said.

Turner said officials still don't know how many people were inside the car when it toppled over the side of the bridge Tuesday.

Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell said 12 vehicles were involved in four separate accidents at rush hour on the Combs-Hehl Bridge, which carries Interstate 275 from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Cincinnati. Rescue teams from several agencies searched the river for hours immediately following the crash.

Sorrell said crews were able to use sonar imaging to find the location of the car, but they haven't been able to recover it.