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Man Dead, Woman Missing After Falling In Icy River

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Updated 01/14/14 – 6:53 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A man from Minnesota died after he fell into the Chicago River early Monday, when he dropped his cell phone in the water and lunged after it. Another man was hospitalized, and a woman was missing and presumed dead, after they went into the water to try to rescue him.

Authorities said 26-year-old Ken Hoang dropped his phone in the river along the Chicago Riverwalk, just west of Lake Shore Drive, shortly after midnight. He climbed the railing to try to grab his phone, and fell in the iced-over river.

Two friends who were with him jumped in the river after him.

Witnesses said they called 911 after hearing cries for help.

“We were walking to the fountain this way, and my friend said he heard a yell of help,” Luis said. “At first I didn’t believe it, you know, so we decided to keep walking this way. We wanted to keep sightseeing. As we got closer, we heard it again, and I heard it again too, and as we got closer, we yelled out, ‘Where you at?'”

Luis said he talked to the man who was yelling, and asked if there was anybody else in the water with him.

“He told me he had a friend that he was holding on to, and that there was a girlfriend too that fell in the water, that was under the water, but he couldn’t find her,” he said.

Police and Fire Department divers searched the icy waters for all three people, and pulled the two men out of the water. The two men were placed on stretchers and taken to hospitals.

After a search for the 21-year-old woman on Monday was unsuccessful, divers were expected to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports.

Hoang later died. His 23-year-old friend was in critical condition at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital.

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