1 teen dead, 2 rescued from South Fork Catawba River

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FOX 46 Charlotte

Gaston County police and rescue crews were on scene Monday near the High Shoals Dam where a teen died and two others had to be rescued from the Catawba River. 

Just before 4 p.m. on Monday, June 24, Gaston County communications received a call about a girl who had reportedly jumped off of the South Fork River Bridge on Old US 321.

Officials responded to the scene and later learned that three teenage girls had been swimming in the river near the dam and exploring a rocky area downstream.

Two of the girls were immediately found and brought to safety. Neither was injured in the incident. 

The search for the third 16-year-old began, and her body was located a short time later. At this time, it's believed the teen slipped, fell into the water and drowned.

During operations on Monday, responders lowered water levels at the dam, which allowed them to locate the 16-year-old girl. Water turbulence, however, preluded recovery, they said. 

A storm Monday night produced a lightning strike that shut down the generator being used to pump the water which caused the water level to rise to the point responders are unable to proceed as originally intended until the generator is repaired. Responders are continuing to work to recover the victim.

No one is believed to have jumped off the bridge as was initially reported.