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BP agents rescue people from Yuma canal; provide medical aid after Ajo crash

Border Patrol agents provided medical care to multiple people injured after head-on collision outside of Ajo, Ariz., on Tuesday, and rescued six people, including a one-year-old, from a canal near Yuma on Wednesday, authorities said. 

Around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents on State Route 85 outside of Ajo came upon a fatal head-on collision between two SUVs, said an agency spokesman. The agents worked to help four people who survived but suffered severe life-threatening injuries from the crash, calling in support from the Ajo station and the agency's Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma and Rescue team. 

More than 20 Border Patrol agents, including a "paramedic and several emergency medical technicians provided life-saving treatment for the passengers," and worked at the scene for more than an hour, the spokesman said. A Life Flight helicopter transported patients to a regional children’s hospital and a separate medical center, he said. 

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, he said. 

On Wednesday morning, Border Patrol agents working near San Luis rescued six people, including a one-year-old infant and three other children, along with two women, from the Salinity Canal, said Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Around 7:20 p.m., agents attached to the sector's Riverine Unit heard calls for help from people in the canal near County 9th Street, she said. The agents found that the people were struggling to stay afloat, and they deployed rescue bags designed for water rescue, she said.

After the people were safely out of the canal, the agents provided "basic medical attention," she said. 

The group included two adult women, ages 32 and 37, as well as "four juveniles ranging in age from 1 to 17," she said.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

A view through the U.S.-Mexico fence along one of the many canals in the San Luis, Ariz. area.