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9/16/2014 4:55:33 AM

Minnesota Man jumps in River to retrieve dropped Cell Phone, friends jump in river to retrieve man, 2 Dead

TWO people plunged to their deaths in the icy Chicago River on Monday after trying to retrieve a man's mobile phone. Just after midnight 26-year-old Ken Hoang of St. Paul, Minnesota jumped over a downtown fence to retrieve a mobile phone he'd dropped into the partially frozen river.

Hoang's terrified friends, Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang, 23, and 21-year-old Lauren Li tried to help, but fell in after him.

Rescuers pulled the men from the water, but spent hours looking for Ms Li. Ken Hoang died at a hospital while Ms Li is presumed dead in the river.

Phan Hoang was taken to St. Joseph Hopsital, where he is in stable condition. "My friend said he heard a yell [for] help, you know. At first I didn't believe it, so we still kept walking this way to keep sightseeing. As we got closer, he heard it again and I heard it again, too. And as we got closer, we yelled out, 'Where you at?"' a witness told WLS.

"I kept saying who was he with? And they said he had a friend and girlfriend, too, that went under the water, but he couldn't find her. We called the police."

Phan Hoang posted a wrenching Facebook response to the tragedy he witnessed Monday evening.
"Life's too short..I hope no one would ever have to go through something so unfortunate such as what has happened ... from the bottom of my heart I am sorry for what happened ... RIP Ken Hoang Lauren Li," he wrote.

Outpourings of grief and support for Li have appeared on friends' Facebook pages and Hoang's family has created a memorial fund page at Youcaring.com.

After less than a day, the fund had raised nearly $US5500 of a $US15,000 ($6085 to $16,600) goal to benefit the bereaved Hoang family.

"The lesson learned here is real simple," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. "If your pets go onto ice, if you drop a cell phone or wallet, do not try and retrieve it."

Ken hoang lauren li
Gone: Ken Hoang (left) and Lauren Li perished after midnight Monday after Haong ventured onto the icy Chicago River to retrieve his cell phone and fell in. Li and their friend Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang went in after Hoang. Neither Hoang nor Li made it out alive

Quoc Viet Phan
Quoc Viet Phan Hoang was the only survivor of the tragedy.

ken hoang
Ken Hoang (pictured centre). A YouCaring page has been set up for his family after he died trying to retrieve his phone in the icy Chicago River.

Laurenli  Laurenli1
'Rest in peace Ken Hoang and Lauren Li': The rescue mission for Lauren Li became a recovery mission as Chicago officials searched for the 21-year-old who fell into the icy Chicago River on Monday. Facebook posts honoring Li began appearing Monday evening
tragedy diver   police  icer   chicago marine unit did
A diver and policemen from the Chicago Marine Unit did what they could do to save three victims who plunged into the icy Chicago River around midnight on Monday but only one survived.




Minnesota Man jumps in River to retrieve dropped Cell Phone, friends jump in river to retrieve man, 2 DeadMinnesota Man jumps in River to retrieve dropped Cell Phone, friends jump in river to retrieve man, 2 Dead

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