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3 dead, 2 missing after tubers go over N.C. dam

June 18 (UPI) -- Authorities in North Carolina said search and rescue crews scouring the Dan River for a group of tubers who went over a dam a day earlier retrieved three bodies while two other people were still missing.

"I can confirm we have three recoveries off the river at this time, potentially two more victims -- hopefully they'll be rescues and not recoveries but at this time we don't know," Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates said during a press conference late Thursday.

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Cates said planes will be taking another pass of "areas of interest" for the missing tubers before the search would be called off for the night to restart again at 7 a.m. Friday.

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The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said a group of nine people tubing on the river went over an eight-foot Duke Energy dam in Eden, near the Virginia border, at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, WTVD reported.

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Four people from the group were found alive by Duke Energy employees on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. who called 911, prompting the search, authorities said, adding those rescued were sent to hospitals for treatment.

"We're going to stay positive that we can do a rescue rather than a recovery, and we're going to stay positive until we find out otherwise," Cates said.

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The identities of the deceased were not identified.

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