UPDATE: Name released of missing worker who fell in Mississippi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Name released of missing worker who fell in Mississippi River

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Authorities have identified the missing railroad worker who fell into the Mississippi River.

The Canadian National Railway employee is Jim Wagner of Dubuque. 

"We are presuming that he drowned," said Joe Heim, East Dubuque Fire Chief. 

Authorities say Wagner somehow slipped off the train bridge, and fell into the water, early Monday morning.

On Tuesday, day two of the search, about 25 first responders went up and down the river using sonar technology to scan for the body. The AirCare3 Helicopter was flown above to assist in the effort. 

Hours gone by, but Wagner's body has not been recovered. The East Dubuque Fire Department made the tough decision to scale back. 

"At this point, going forward, we're gonna start scaling our operation back -- we're gonna periodically check this week, and the following week going up and down the river and checking the back waters at the time," Heim said.

One of the challenges for authorities is the immense size of the mighty Mississippi. "And the current is very swift right now, that's what makes it very difficult for operations because of that, that swift current," added Heim.

KWWL reached out to Canadian National. A spokesman said: "CN continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident. We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Wagner’s family, friends and co-workers. We also will continue to work with local authorities."



East Dubuque Fire Chief confirmed today in a press meeting that the worker, who fell in the river, is Jim Wagner from Dubuque. 


Part of the Mississippi River has been closed for much of the day, crews worked to find the missing man. 

Law enforcement say the rescue operation has switched to recovery mode. 

First responders from Iowa, and Illinois searched the water for a Canadian National employee.

The search area is about 30 miles -- north of the train bridge to  Bellevue. 

They are using sonar equipment, to scan for the person in the water.

Officials say they believe he slipped, and the railroad company has video of it. 

"This morning at approximately 7:15 we were notified to check on a worker on the train bridge, up here just north of town, upon looking at video when the Canadian National got in, they found that a person had fallen off the bridge," said Joe Heim, chief of the East Dubuque Fire Department. 

Several hours went by before first responders were called. At the time, the employee was the only person on the bridge. 

 Crews  plan on resuming their search Tuesday morning.

The identity of the operator will not be released until family has been notified. 

Canadian National Railroad released the following statement:

"The name of the individual is not being released at this time. At this point all I can confirm is a CN employee is missing. Our emergency responders are working with local officials on the search.  "We have launched an internal investigation into the circumstances of this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with our employee’s family and co-workers during this difficult time."

Thank you,

Patrick Waldron

CN spokesman


The Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Department says a part of the Mississippi River is closed for some sort of missing person investigation.

In a news conference this afternoon, fire chief says was he was a Canadian National operator. The incident seemed to be accidental, and they believe he slipped into the river. 

The East Dubuque Fire Department is currently conducting an investigation on the river. It is closed from the train bridge to the Julien Dubuque Bridge until further notice. 

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