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HIGHLAND, Utah (AP) -- Authorities started draining an irrigation canal Thursday to search for two missing brothers, possibly trapped overnight inside a canal tube.
The 100-foot deep Murdoch Canal has numerous confined spaces. It had to be drained because it was considered too dangerous for rescue divers, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
It was not immediately known how much of an air supply the two missing brothers, ages 21 and 23, had with them.
Cannon said rescuers planned to concentrate their efforts on a large tube located at the bottom of the canal, about 25 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The 8-foot-wide by 1,200-foot-long pipe acts as a conductor to move water along the canal, Cannon said.
"Once you go inside of it, there's no getting out of it except for one side or the other," Cannon said.
Search and rescue teams were to dive into it once the canal was drawn down, about a three-hour process. Cannon hoped it would reach a safe level by mid-morning Thursday.
The brothers informed their parents of the trip about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"They called their parents to say they'd be diving and if they don't hear from them by 10, to call" authorities, Cannon said.
Sheriff's deputies found their car near the canal Wednesday night but didn't find any diving equipment inside, leading them to believe the two were still in the canal, Cannon aid.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)