Four members of the total group of nine tubers were rescued and were being treated at a hospital, WFMY-TV, of Greensboro, North Carolina, reported.
A search was underway for the missing tubers along the river near Eden, North Carolina, near the Virginia state line, about 36 miles north of Greensboro, North Carolina, WSET-TV of Lynchburg, Virginia, reported.
The tubers who were found dead had apparently gone over a dam near Eden, authorities from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told the station.
The dam was believed to be one that’s operated by Duke Energy, Lt. Kevin Southard of the Rockingham County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office told WFMY. Employees from the utility company spotted the tubers on the river around 4 p.m. and called 911, the station reported.
Authorities planned to make one more helicopter pass over the area Thursday night before calling off their search until Friday morning, authorities told WSET.
The helicopter was equipped with infrared technology to assist in the search, WFMY reported.
No information about the identities or ages of the tubers was immediately available.
Emergency responders from Danville, Virginia, were expected to join in the search on Friday, if needed, the North Carolina authorities said, according to WSET.