El Paso

Firefighters pull body out of the water near Midway and Border Highway, 5th body recovered this week

Body recovered from Rio Grande

EL PASO, Texas - Firefighters recovered a body from the Rio Grande near Midway and the Border Highway in El Paso's Lower Valley.

The El Paso Fire Department was dispatched to the river near Midway and the Border Highway when U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted a body in the water.

The first unit arrived on scene at 9:57 am and was escorted to the river's edge where the body was located. The Water Rescue team pulled out a man in his 30s at 10:08 a.m. and turned over the body to the authorities.

The fire department said the river is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. People often get swept away because they don't understand the power of water. During the Monsoon, currents can move at about 25-30 miles per hour, officials said.

"It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock down a person," Water Rescue Captain Kristian Menendez said. "With the high amounts of rain we have been receiving in the region, there is much more water moving down the river. The water may appear to be moving slowly, but in fact, it is moving at a great speed. Plus, there's the added danger of debris, mud and contaminants."

On Monday, crews rescued four women swept away in a canal near the border. One of the women, who had to be hospitalized, has since died, officials confirmed.

On Tuesday, three bodies were recovered from the river over a seven hour span.

"No time is a good time to cross the border," Border Patrol Agent Joe Reyes said. "Go the lawful route, because it is really dangerous crossing the border through the any aspect desert or water."

"We maintain a good relationship with Mexican counterparts to keep this to a minimum," Reyes added. "Any loss of life is too much."


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