MILWAUKEE — Recovery efforts are underway Wednesday as crews search for two adults who were swept away in a drainage ditch earlier this week.
The Milwaukee Fire Department said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon crews are searching, "on-foot, water-surface, drone, and sub-surface sonar searches in overlapping and redundant fashion, from 31/KK to Lake Michigan."
Incident command was set up at 1st and Becher on Wednesday.
Fire Chief Aaron Lipski confirmed first responders found the body of a 10-year-old in the Kinnickinnic River on Tuesday near 16th and Cleveland. The little boy has been identified as 10-year-old Muhammad Arman bin Rashidula. His father and their neighbor are yet to be recovered.
They disappeared after witnesses say they tried to save the boy on Monday.
It appears the three fell into the ditch near 27th and Loomis, and the current swept the boy about two miles away. He was found near 16th and Cleveland.
Shaukhat Ali, the executive director of the Rohingya American Society at 16th and Oklahoma, said all three of them are part of their community and says it's "a very sorrowful situation." He said the boy will be buried at Arlington Park Cemetery in Greenfield on Thursday.
A family case worker says the boy's family came to the United States about four years ago as refugees. The boy and his father leave behind three sibilings, one of which is weeks old.
"He's one of our students here," Ali said. "He attended the evening Quaran class program here. He's very kind, very sympathetic and honest boy."
The Rohingya American Society serves more than 1,000 families locally and the community is extremely tight-knit. They are working very closely with the families who have lost loved ones. A donation fund will be established soon.
The severe storms expected to hit our area Wednesday night could make the search even more dangerous. Milwaukee Fire says the weather conditions play a major role in how the search can progress.
The work itself is grueling and miserable. Crews are wading or diving into the water, tethered to trees or poles to avoid getting swept in themselves.
In addition to record heat on Tuesday, crews had to battle low oxygen, poisonous gases, and debris. Chief Lipski said if crews entered Monday's fast moving storm water, it would have resulted in firefighter deaths.