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Body retrieved after vehicle washed off low-lying bridge in Tshwane

Rescue teams had to winch the submerged vehicle out of the water.
Rescue teams had to winch the submerged vehicle out of the water.
Image: Supplied

The body of a man was recovered on Sunday from a vehicle swept off a low-lying bridge in Roodeplaat, Tshwane.

Tshwane emergency services spokesperson Charles Mabaso said: “A team of divers and rescue technicians from the Tshwane emergency services, Gauteng emergency medical services, SA Police Service and a towing service recovered the body in the Roodeplaat area just after 8am on Sunday.”

A call was received before midnight on Saturday about a vehicle swept off a low-lying bridge and people possibly trapped inside. 

“Emergency response teams were immediately dispatched to the area where, upon arrival ... what seemed to be a motor vehicle was noticed submerged in the water, about a kilometre away from where the vehicle was last seen.

“Emergency teams could not enter the water because of the high level and speed of the water, as well as poor visibility and the rainfall,” he said.

The search was suspended and resumed before 6am on Sunday.

“The team used winches from service 4x4 vehicles and a towing vehicle to recover the [vehicle] from the spruit.”

The city’s operations teams remain on high alert and will monitor low-lying bridges and other known flooding hotspots.

Tshwane emergency services offered safety tips on flooding:

  • Avoid low-lying bridges during a flood.
  • If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon the vehicle and climb to high ground.
  • Do not drive onto a road completely covered by water (you do not know the depth of the water or if the road has washed away).
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.
  • Avoid low spots, such as ditches, basements or underpasses, as these become dangerous during a flash flood.


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