Sunday, September 14, 2008

News reports from Argonia...

by Chris Durden (KWCH News)

Rescuers pulled eight people from the swollen Chikaskia River in Sumner County around 12:30 Sunday morning.

The situation began several hours earlier when five people got into trouble while rafting near Argonia. Firefighters tried to reach the group, but three of them ended up getting stuck.

Search and rescue teams from Sedgwick County helped in the second rescue operation which began around ten o'clock. Everyone was eventually pulled from the water.

Paramedics took one to a hospital with potentially critical injuries. It's not known if that person is one of the boaters or a firefighter. The person's condition is not known at this time.

Rescue workers have finally pulled eight people to the shore of the Chikaskia River near Argonia. They were rescued to safety after getting into a raft and setting onto the rain-swollen river just after 6:00 Saturday evening.

Five juveniles reportedly were on the raft when they got into trouble. Emergency crews put a boat in the water and attempted to pull the five to safety, but three Wellington Firefighters also fell into the water. Shortly after that, a bystander also fell into the water, for a total of nine people trapped in the water.

One person was eventually pulled from the raging waters and rushed to a Wichita hospital in critical condition. A fire department spokesperson says that person is a 43 year-old male civilian.

The Sedgwick County Fire Department swift water rescue unit was called to the scene at about 10:00 p.m. They rescued the remaining eight people just after 12:30 in the morning.

Five rafters have been pulled from the Chikaskia River near Argonia after a river excursion turned dangerous. Officials say one juvenile and four adults were rafting on the swollen river when they became trapped near a dam. During the rescue attempt, three firefighters fell into the water and also became trapped. Everyone was rescued at about 12:30am after crews from Sumner, Harper and Sedgwick counties were called to the scene.

A 48-year-old man was taken by ambulance with serious injuries. Officials did not release details regarding his injuries.
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