ST. PETER (AP) - Authorities are searching for the operator of a backhoe that fell into the Minnesota River while clearing ice jams between St. Peter and Mankato.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that a backhoe was "washed into the river."

MnDOT spokeswoman Chris Krueger says the backhoe operator was clearing ice jams.

The accident was reported just before noon Tuesday near Seven Mile Creek Park.

State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske confirmed that a backhoe and operator went into the river but said he had no further details.

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