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3 Brothers Fall Through Ice, Drown

February 05, 1988|United Press International

BUCKNER, Mo. — A boy testing the ice on a pond on his 11th birthday fell through a hole into the frigid water, then his two brothers fell through the ice trying to save him and all three drowned, authorities said.

The Gragg brothers--Chad, 12, Aaron, 11, and Stephen, 8,--were submerged for about 20 minutes before they were pulled from the frigid water Thursday evening. All three boys died despite life-saving efforts at three area hospitals.

Doctors in recent months have been able to revive a few children who have fallen into icy waters, and Deputy Chief Greg Pottberg said that was going through his mind during the rescue.

Aaron apparently was testing the ice on a pond near the family's home near Buckner, 15 miles east of Kansas City, when he fell through, authorities said. Stephen and Chad fell in when they tried to help him. A neighbor boy ran to his home to summon help.

Firefighters placed a three-piece extension ladder over the hole in the ice, which was about 20 feet to 25 feet from shore. It took the rescuers 24 minutes to retrieve all three boys from the water.

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