Fire Dept. Diver Dies After Rescue Operation in Chicago River - NECN
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Fire Dept. Diver Dies After Rescue Operation in Chicago River

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Diver in Critical Condition After Attempted River Rescue

    A diver is in critical condition at a local hospital, and two other divers were taken in good condition to Northwestern after a search for a man missing in the Chicago River. NBC 5's Ash-har Quraishi and Natalie Martinez have the very latest on the search. (Published Monday, May 28, 2018)

    A Chicago Fire Department diver injured during a rescue on the Chicago River has died after being transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, officials said. 

    Firefighter Juan Bucio died on Monday night after responding to a call of a person in the water near 2600 South Ashland, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

    "The entire Chicago Fire Department's prayers go out to the family of Firefighter Juan Bucio, who tragically passed away," the department said on Twitter. 

    According to fire officials, Bucio was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition after losing communication with crews during an attempted rescue on Monday night.

    He had been searching for a 28-year-old man who was said to have jumped from a boat into the river. The boaterwasn't located and the search for him was expected to resume Tuesday.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement early Tuesday morning, calling Bucio a "special type of person" willing to put himself in harm's way to help others in need. 

    "Our hearts are heavy tonight," the mayor said. "When the call came for help, Juan Bucio was that special type of person who answered. He was dedicated to Chicago and committed to keeping us all safe. He will be missed, but his service and his selflessness will be remembered." 

    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Bucio joined the fire department in 2003, and has been on the dive team since 2007. He is survived by his two children, ages seven and nine, and nine siblings. 

    Officials say that two other divers were also injured in the incident and were taken to Northwestern in good condition. According to officials, both of those divers have since been released. 

    According to police, divers reported to the scene after a 28-year-old man fell off a boat just after 8 p.m. in the 2600 block of South Ashland.

    Officers with the Chicago Marine Unit were searching the area for the man when they lost communications with Bucio. 

    The whereabouts of the missing man are still unknown at this time. 

    We'll continue to provide more details as they become available on this breaking story.