THREE people died and two others are still missing after a bakkie transporting children from a church service sank at a flooded bridge in GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria, following heavy thunderstorms on Wednesday.
Five others were treated in hospital. The heavy rains hit parts of Pretoria and neighbouring areas, damaging and flooding houses in Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve.
The Ford Bantam bakkie with 11 occupants, the majority of whom were children returning from an evening service at a local Apostolic Church, was trapped in water at Hebron, at about 8pm.
GaRankuwa police station commissioner Director Eunice Makgwane said a teenage boy was trapped between rock s in the water. His body was recovered later.
"Five other people, including the driver, managed to escape from the submerged bakkie. Four were still missing on Wednesday night. Two bodies were retrieved by police divers yesterday morning," she said.
Makgwane said the driver was treated for shock and discharged from Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa yesterday. The four passengers were still receiving treatment at the same hospital last night.
Makgwane said they were still waiting for the driver to give them more information.
"We do not know if the missing two were male or female because the driver is still shocked."
She said the search for the missing occupants would continue today.
Yesterday, the two bodies were found near the accident at Tolwane Bridge in the vicinity of Medunsa Dam.
Residents assisted the police in the search.
The thunderstorms damaged many houses in GaRankuwa Zone 4 and parts of Soshanguve along the Mabopane Highway.
Water levels in some Ga-Rankuwa houses were reported to have covered beds and other furniture. Items in wardrobes and blankets were soaking wet.
At sections XX and VV in Soshanguve many houses were flooded up to knee level.