A North Platte man drowned Saturday after falling into an irrigation gate structure.

The body of Matthew Bruning, 23, was found about 4:45 a.m. Saturday in the North Platte River. North Platte and Sutherland dive team and rescue units responded to the river at North Sand Road, northwest of Hershey. It took nearly three hours to remove Bruning's body.

Chief Deputy Lincoln County Sheriff Roland Kramer said Bruning was sucked down into the gate structure by a water current with an immense amount of pressure.

Bruning was one of multiple farmers who had access to a concrete platform where the system can be maintained. He and two other people were hanging out on the platform before Bruning slipped and fell in, Kramer said.

The investigation into the drowning is ongoing.

Hershey is about 14 miles west of North Platte.

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