Search resumes for Alaska woman swept under river ice

A team from Alaska Dive Search Rescue and Recovery
Image caption,Teams prepare to continue the search for the missing woman

By Mike Wendling

BBC News

A search continued on Tuesday for a woman who disappeared into a partially frozen river in Alaska over the weekend.

Alaska state troopers said a couple was walking their dogs near the Eagle River on Saturday afternoon when one of the animals entered the water.

The pair went into the river to search for the dog, but the woman vanished.

Authorities were alerted but search teams found no sign of her before sunset made it too dark to continue.

A dive rescue team continued the search on Sunday, but without success.

The woman, who has not been named, disappeared in a part of the partially frozen river about 20 miles (32km) outside of Anchorage, which experiences only about 5 and a half hours of daylight each day in late December.

State troopers said the search was set to resume when the sun comes up on Tuesday. In addition to divers, a team from the Alaska Solstice Search Dogs was set to join the operation, according to a Facebook post.

Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Alaska state troopers, told the Anchorage Daily News that officials believe the woman “was swept underneath the ice downriver”.

The man who entered the water with the missing woman was not injured.

Jamie Allard, who represents the area in the Alaska state legislature, called the incident a “heartbreaking tragedy.”

“The loss experienced by the family is beyond words, and they have my most heartfelt sympathies in this difficult time,” she said in a statement. “This event is a grave reminder of how quickly situations can turn perilous in natural settings, especially near our river.”

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