Child Dies After Boat Overturns in Chicago River, Police Say

A 7-year-old boy died after he was trapped under a boat that overturned on the Chicago River Wednesday night, according to police.

Authorities said the incident took place at around 6:38 p.m. in the river near the 1500 block of South Lumber Street in the city's South Loop.

Chicago fire and police officials responded to the call for a boat in distress and, in a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard, pulled nine people from the water in a massive rescue effort, authorities said.

"My grandma saw the helicopter and we went over and saw the boat tipped over and the girl was crying because she said her daughter or son was drowning," witness Angel Dominguez said near the scene.

The 7-year-old boy was stuck underneath the boat, according to fire officials, and was unresponsive when divers pulled him from the water. He was given CPR on the way to the hospital, authorities said.

Chicago police said early Thursday that the boy was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital from an apparent drowning. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office could not immediately confirm the fatality and further details, including his identity, were not available.

Two other children and three adults, all whose ages were unknown, were hospitalized from the incident and three people refused treatment at the scene, fire officials said.

Chicago police said early Thursday that the boat overturned when a cargo boat passed by, and that the appeared to be accidental in nature, though authorities continue to investigate.

Authorities urged boaters to take precautions in the wake of the tragic incident.

"Everyone needs to have a life jacket and don’t overboard the boat," Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Patrick Maloney said.

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