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Boy, 7, drowns after a small boat ‘with at least nine people’ onboard capsizes in the Chicago river

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 A seven-year-old boy died on Wednesday after a boat he was in with ‘over nine people’ capsized in the Chicago river. 

Victor Lobato, from Little Village, was on the boat as it capsized at around 6.40pm near the 1500-block of South Lumber Street in Chinatown. 

Police share that the boat capsized and drifted three blocks down to 18th Street by the time first responders were able to rescue the occupants, ABC 7 Chicago reports.    

Victor Lobato, from Little Village, died on Wednesday after the boat he was in capsized in the Chicago River

Victor Lobato, from Little Village, died on Wednesday after the boat he was in capsized in the Chicago River

‘If you look down the river the accessibility of where we actually found the victim versus where we retrieved everyone else. We’re talking almost three block down river,’ said Deputy District Chief Carmelita Wiley-Earls, CFD.

According to fire officials, there were at least nine people on the ‘small craft’ and it is unclear whether the passengers were wearing life vests.  

‘There was over nine people in the boat,’ said Chief Patrick Maloney, CFD. ‘It was a small craft, kind of pretty packed up as far as water safety.’

The area near Chinatown where the boat overturned is 20 to 30ft deep, authorities shared

The area near Chinatown where the boat overturned is 20 to 30ft deep, authorities shared

Authorities say that there were at least nine people on the 'small craft' and add that it is unclear whether all of the passengers had on life vests

Authorities say that there were at least nine people on the ‘small craft’ and add that it is unclear whether all of the passengers had on life vests

At the scene, three of the passengers refused medical treatment.

Three adults and three children were taken to a local hospital and are listed as being in fair to critical condition.

It is believed that the incident was an accident.  

‘The helicopter divers that went into the water were able to retrieve the one child that was underneath the capsized boat,’ Maloney said.

Three adults and three children were taken to a local hospital and are listed as being in fair to critical condition

Three adults and three children were taken to a local hospital and are listed as being in fair to critical condition

It was witness calls to 911 that got first responders to the scene so quickly.  

‘Without the public’s input and without the public’s initially 911 sounding of the alarm then we would have a different outcome,’ Wiley-Earls said.

At the area where the boat capsized, the river is approximately 20 to 30ft deep.

Fire officials said that this was the fourth or fifth incident involving water rescues just this week and stressed the importance of not over-boarding and wearing life vest.  

The rescue was a joint effort by police, fire officials and the U.S Coast Guard. 

Fire officials say that this is the fourth or fifth rescue to occur this week

Fire officials say that this is the fourth or fifth rescue to occur this week

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