Thursday 18 October 2018

Police focusing search in canal for missing Irish student (21)

Ross Hanlon pictured with his girlfriend Kelly at his 21st birthday party two weeks ago
Ross Hanlon pictured with his girlfriend Kelly at his 21st birthday party two weeks ago

Sasha Brady

The search for missing Irish student Ross Hanlon has been stepped up as Vienna police search the Danube canal.

The 21-year-old business student has been missing in the Austrian capital for almost a week.

Ross, from Athboy in Meath, had travelled to Vienna on a city break, following the completion of his college exams.

He was last seen at 2am on Friday morning outside Flex nightclub in the Augartenbrücke area of Vienna.

Police in Vienna have said that witnesses reported that the young man was last seen walking along the Danube.

A Vienna police spokesperson told Independent.ie that they are focusing their search along the canal.

"Vienna Police Department has searched the Danube canal, which is where the person in question has gone missing, according to witnesses. All search efforts so far have been unsuccessful.

"A criminal investigation unit of the Vienna PD CID is working the case, trying to trace back Mr Hanlon’s movements that night. "

A second spokesperson added: "The last thing we know is that the student went down the [steps] to the river and never came back.

"The police are searching with police boats along the Danube."

Ross' brother Craig posted an update on Facebook, advising people that the search for the missing student has now been stepped up.

"Just a quick update on Ross, the police are stepping up their search of the river with sonar and more resources," he said.

"Thanks to everyone who has helped and all the kind messages of support. Hang in there Ross, we are going to get you home."

Staff and students from Dundalk IT held a vigil for Ross and the Hanlon family on Tuesday.

Those who gathered lit a candle which they said will remain lit until Ross makes it home safely.

Ross' family have since travelled to Vienna to assist authorities in the search.

A fundraising account has been opened in Athboy Credit Union to assist the family.

Writing on Facebook, the Credit Union said the IBAN for all donations is IE68ATCU99218810120145.

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