FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A woman is missing after allegedly falling into a Fresno canal Wednesday afternoon. Water rescue teams use ropes, scuba gear, and camera equipment to scour the canal near McKinley and Milbrook as they search for a missing woman in her 30s.
“The swimmer there on the surface, that person can see to the bottom,” explained Fresno Fire’s Shane Brown. “They are going back and forth searching in a pattern. We are trying to do our best to blanket this area and look for the individual.”
Initial witness reports said the woman was pushed in following an altercation – but officials say that was not true determining that the woman fell in, went underwater, and never came up.
Crews say this section of the canal was difficult to navigate because it splits to the north and west.
“This canal bifurcates in two directions so you know,” explained Brown. “The hydrology of the water, there is no set direction that a body would travel and there are so many obstacles under the water that are unknown”
Meanwhile, a Fresno Police helicopter searched for the woman in case she was able to escape but she was never found. After two hours, crews called off the search.
“The hope now is that she was able to get out on her own. There are access ladders along the side of the canal so the hope is that she was able to self extricate at some point.”
The irrigation district will continue to monitor the canal over the next couple of days. If anyone sees the woman, described as a 5-foot 2-inches tall Asian woman wearing all pink, they are asked to call the Fresno Fire department.