Two members of a group of nine tube riders involved in a deadly Dan River dam mishap in North Carolina this week remained missing Friday after a search, authorities said, according to reports.
The missing tubers were identified as Teresa Villano, 30, and Isiah Crawford, 7, both of Eden, North Carolina, WSET-TV of Lynchburg, Virginia, reported.
We want to find these people and make sure they are OK but we also would like to ask you to say a prayer for the family, Rockingham County (N.C.) Sheriff Sam Page told reporters, according to WFMY-TV of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Three other tubers in the group were found dead Thursday evening while four tubers were rescued and hospitalized, the station reported.
The search was suspended late Friday afternoon but was expected to resume Saturday, Rockingham County (N.C.) Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates told The Associated Press.
We re still positive and optimistic but we ll see how things go [Saturday], Cates told the AP.
The deceased tubers were identified as Bridish Crawford, 27, and Antonio Ramon, 30, both of Eden, and Sophie Wilson, 14, of La Porte, Indiana, WSET reported.
The four rescued tubers were identified as Reuben Villano, 35 (a brother of the missing woman) Eric Villano, 14 and Irene Villano, 18, all of Eden, and Karlos Villano, 14, of La Porte, according to the station. All four had non-life-threatening injuries, authorities told the station.
Eden is located in north-central North Carolina, not far from the Virginia state line.
Cates said the river is often difficult to navigate even for experienced swimmers and he did not know if the tubers had been using life preservers, the AP reported. He said the approach to the Duke Energy dam is marked by a sign and people who go tubing or rafting will typically leave the river as they near the dam and then walk a stretch before reentering the river.
All of the nine tubers were related and had been visiting other family members in the Eden area, authorities from the Rockingham County Sheriff s Office told the station.
The group had gone into the water around 7 p.m. Wednesday and the four rescued tubers were spotted by Duke Energy employees around 4 p.m. Thursday in an emergency situation, prompting the employees to call 911, authorities said.
The three deceased tubers were found later Thursday. They had fallen about 8 feet after reaching the dam, Cates told the AP.
Page said investigators were continuing to speak with the survivors to obtain more details about exactly what happened, WFMY reported.