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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Teens Electrocuted In Irrigation Canal

Associated Press

Two missing cousins were found dead Friday, apparently electrocuted while swimming in an irrigation canal.

Denise V. Long, 15, and Vincent T. Wapato, 13, went swimming in the Wanity Slough on Wednesday evening and never returned, relatives said.

Yakama Tribal Police found the bodies Friday and said it appeared the two were electrocuted when they swam near a metal pipe.

The case is under investigation.

Tribal police, aided by Yakima County Search and Rescue crews and a Washington State Patrol airplane, started searching the canal and a nearby pond Thursday.

On Friday, a search diver received a severe shock in the water near the pipe and was taken to Providence Toppenish Hospital for examination, authorities said.

Volunteer diver Gordon Clark was examined and released.

After Clark was shocked, searchers noticed that tree branches had fallen on a power line located along a road paralleling the canal.

Investigators believe the drainage pipe, which runs under the road, was somehow conducting the downed power line’s electrical current.

About 6 p.m., divers found the 13-year-old boy about 100 yards downstream from the pipe. His cousin was discovered 40 yards away.

Relatives said the canal has been a popular swimming hole for years.

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