Authorities were searching the Jordan River on Thursday for a boy or man who children say may have drowned.

Two elementary-age schoolchildren told police they saw a boy go into the river near 650 North about 8 a.m., said Lt. Larry Stott."They both say he jumped into the water and disappeared," Stott said. "Several others came running and said they saw a hand come up and go down in the water."

The apparent victim was described as about 5 feet 7 inches tall. "He could be a man," Stott said.

Sheriff's office search and rescue units were called in about 11 a.m. Some 20 rescuers were probing the river in boats while a helicopter searched between Fifth North and 19th North.

The students who reported the incident had just arrived at Backman Elementary School. Principal Don Baxter said a second-grade girl was the first to report seeing a person jump in the river. School officials checked with the girl's teacher and parents who said she does not have a history of making up tales. Backman said the school's attendance records were checked and no students were unaccounted for, but the girl's description of the boy she said jumped in the river made it sound like he was older than elementary-school age.