AFR recovers third body from diversion channel washout

·2 min read

Jul. 22—ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Firefighters pulled a third man's body from the end of a diversion channel on Thursday morning during a multi-day search for people swept down arroyos in a rain storm on Tuesday.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue Lt. Tom Ruiz said the body was spotted by a drone around 8 a.m. at a washout near Tramway and Roy. The body was found in the same area as the two bodies found by drones on Wednesday.

Ruiz said the first two bodies were identified based on their descriptions as two of the three people seen carried down an arroyo in the Snow Heights area on Tuesday.

He said there was no description of the third victim. The bodies were revealed one by one, he said, as the water level receded in the washout.

"It's unfortunate that there have been three victims that perished as a result of the flash flood, but we will do our due diligence here — our recovery and our search — to make sure that there aren't any more victims," Ruiz said.

He said they have no reason to believe there are more victims but AFR and Bernalillo County firefighters will continue searching the area until Friday evening.

Ruiz said he hopes people stay out of the arroyos as storms continue this week.

"We are expecting some weather today and tomorrow, so... it doesn't go without saying please stay out of the arroyo systems when that rain comes in," Ruiz said.

AFR responded on Tuesday afternoon after multiple people called 911 to report three people floating — one of them face down — in the Embudo Arroyo, near Pennsylvania and Constitution.

Swift water rescue units, outfitted with harnesses, stood along the sides of the North Diversion Channel to try to rescue them but didn't spot the three over a two-hour period.

Afterward, firefighters focused on recovery as Albuquerque police and Bernalillo County open space units searched the washout for bodies with drones and fan boats from Tuesday evening through Thursday.

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