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Sonar Used To Search For Car Submerged In Mississippi River

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities say after hours of searching, they are still not able to confirm if there is anyone inside a vehicle last seen sinking below the water line of the Mississippi River.

Major Darrell Huggett, of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, said they received a report of a car going into the river from 10th Avenue bridge around 9 a.m. Sunday from a jogger nearby.

Once officers were on scene, police were able to confirm the vehicle in the water and said they saw it just before it sunk below the water. Huggett said a buoy was placed in the river, at the site where the car was last spotted. Since that time, there have not been sightings of the vehicle.

Huggett said it’s possible the car was empty and was dumped into the river but until they can confirm that, the situation is being treated as an active recovery effort.

Due to the inclement weather and fast-moving current, divers were not sent into the water as the conditions were too dangerous, Huggett said.

“The river is running about five times faster than it does in the summer, so it’s too dangerous to send divers right now,” he said.

On Sunday, the water was about 50 degrees and with heavy rains, crews deployed a boat with a side scan sonar as the best option to see into the water.

Lt. Art Saunders, of the Hennepin County water patrol unit, said the side scan sonar is pulled by boat and collects sonar images from sound waves. If there’s a vehicle or a body in the water, it will be detected.

The search was called off Sunday afternoon and will resume at 8 a.m. Monday.

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