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40th Anniversary of Rockbottom Dam Tragedy

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -


40 years ago three Binghamton Firefighters were killed trying to rescue rafters near the Rockbottom Dam.

A memorial service honored the lost lives of Binghamton Fire Chief John Cox, firefighter John Russell and Captain Donald McGeever. Former firefighter Michael Durkan recalled his rescue attempt Tuesday morning to 100 people in attendance. He still can't believe he came out alive and lost his brothers.

"It was horrific. When I realized I couldn't get to John it was like one part of me shut down and another part of me started up. Then it became survival," said Durkan.

Durkan said after coming out of the hospital that night, he went back to the fire station and went back to work.