Professor joins search for river-plunge boy, 8

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A professor with expertise in flowing water has joined the search for an eight-year-old boy who fell into a swollen river a week ago.

Ian Bell, from Sunnybrow, County Durham, was playing with friends last Friday night when he was swept away in the Wear at Willington.

Search specialists joined police and dozens of members of the public to look for the schoolboy, without success. A detailed search of the river and its banks has been carried out downstream past Durham to Chester-le-Street.

Chief Inspector Graham Milne said: “We are still doing everything we can to find Ian but sadly there doesn’t seem any likelihood that we’ll find him alive.

“All we want now is to bring him home to his family.”