Eight people and eight dogs were rescued from the San Gabriel River in Azusa after they were swept away by rushing water Monday night, according to authorities.
Firefighters received reports that a ninth person was also in the river, but it’s unclear if that information was accurate, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Ruben Munoz said.
A 911 call reporting people in the river came in shortly after 6 p.m. and firefighters responded to the area of North Todd and West Sierra Madre avenues in Azusa, authorities said.
Initially, authorities said there were seven people in the water, but they updated the number to eight. Five people were helped to get out of the river and three were lifted by helicopter, Muñoz said.
None of the people required hospitalization, but the conditions of the animals were unclear. Firefighters did not explain how the victims ended up in or near the water.
Officials continued to search the river and flood channels until 10 p.m. looking for the possible ninth person in the water, according to the fire department.
The informant who informed emergency officials about the possible ninth person left the scene and provided no additional information, Munoz said.
“We continue to patrol the area around the flood channels looking for signs of bodies and we haven’t located anyone,” Munoz said. “They did their due diligence to look for that person.”