Farmer missing after bakkie swept off bridge

2012-08-08 22:47

Johannesburg - A Kareedouw farmer is missing after his car was swept off a low bridge by floodwaters, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

Frits Myburgh and his wife, Poppie, both in their 40s, were crossing the Kouga bridge in Kareedouw at 20:00 on Tuesday night when their Mitsubishi Colt bakkie was swept into the water, Lieutenant Colonel Priscilla Naidu said in a statement.

The wife was able to climb out the window and hold onto a rock about 100m downstream.

"That was the last time she saw her husband or the bakkie," Naidu said.

The wife was found at 13:00 on Wednesday by passers-by who alerted the police.

Police then began a search for Frits Myburgh using police divers, K9 units and rescue teams.

The search was called off on Wednesday afternoon due to poor weather conditions.

Poppie Myburgh was taken to hospital for treatment. She was discharged into the care of her daughter and friends in Kareedouw.

Search ongoing

Meanwhile, the female paramedic who plunged off a bridge and into a Montagu river in an ambulance has still not been found, Western Cape emergency services said.

"Rescuers searched inside the vehicle and they did not find her," spokesperson Keri Davids said.

The ambulance she was driving veered off the Cogmanskloof bridge into a river in Montagu on Tuesday morning.

Davids said 15 divers, both from emergency services and police, were looking for her.

"At 08:00 this morning, search teams located the ambulance about 200m from the bridge. The ambulance was submerged."

The woman had been driving from Montagu to Ashton at 05:30 on Tuesday when the accident happened.

She alerted the communications centre in Worcester and emergency and rescue workers were sent to the scene.

The area was also searched from the air.

Earlier on Wednesday, One hundred and fifty people were rescued from a severe snow storm in the Kokstad area.

"A call came in this morning at around 07:00 that people were stuck in the severe snow on the R617 at the Kings Cross mountain pass since yesterday [Tuesday]," Netcare911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

Search and rescue personnel as well a paramedic flew out to the scene in a Oryx Helicopter where 150 people were found trapped in two buses and seven trucks.

"Rescuers managed to airlift thirty children and a 120 adults to Kokstad," he said.

Child killed

So far two people have died since the cold front hit the country.

A 3-year-old girl was killed on Tuesday when the walls of her home crumbled after continuous rain in Bityi, near Mthatha, Eastern Cape police said.

"The girl was with her mother when the walls of the house collapsed. Fortunately, the mother didn't die and escaped," said Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.

He could not confirm any other fatalities or injuries as a result of the weather conditions.

"At this stage, we are still checking our areas and so far it's quiet, but it's still raining."

In Westville, Durban, a homeless man believed to be in his fifties died of hypothermia on Wednesday, according to paramedics

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said paramedics were notified of a man lying inside a box on a roadside near to the New Germany Nature Reserve who was unresponsive.

"When paramedics arrived they assessed the man and found he had already passed away."

It is unclear how long the man had been lying there but it's believed that died due to the severe cold temperatures, Banks said.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-08-08 23:14

    Such a horrific accident...This woman had to endure almost 17 hours holding for dear life to a rock.... were crossing the Kouga bridge in Kareedouw at 20:00 on Tuesday night...hold onto a rock about 100m downstream......The wife was found at 13:00 on Wednesday

  • jessica.petersen.735 - 2012-08-08 23:37

    Ai! These are my friends parents! @least the wife is ok now I just pray top God they can find her husband.

      theresa.myburgh.5 - 2012-08-08 23:44

      Its very sad jessica!!! Its my aunt and uncle! My father is in a state!!! Hope to God that they find him!!!

  • andre.myburgh.984 - 2012-08-08 23:51

    Frits is my brother and we believe that God is keeping him safe and he will be found unarmed.All the glory to our heavenly father and we thank Him for that.

      jacque.raymer - 2012-08-09 00:48

      im not very religious but ill say a little prayer for your brother and hope they find him safe and in good health.

      Larry Damons - 2012-08-09 05:27

      god be with you all... hope all workout for the best... strongs..

  • michael.bushes - 2012-08-09 00:20

    Such is the situation in SA that the first thing that came to mind was that the forces of liberation swooped down on this poor gentleman, but, alas, im so glad i was wrong

      chris.summers.3954 - 2012-08-09 00:45

      Unlikely, as the forces of liberation usually can't swim...

      vernon.lewis.1466 - 2012-08-09 11:48

      @Mphozana...Hey boet, are you ok ? you seem a bit distressed, take it easy ok !!

  • bobby.neethling.9 - 2012-08-09 00:47

    Lovely picture of a compartment Is this the shozaloza or am I seeming wrong I travelled a lot to Durban johannesburg and Capetown and never experienced such cleanliness Transnet have done wonders to put a photo on like that Maybe I should send you one what it really looks like Good luck Transnet you haven't even got a train to Cape town

      ingi.raikes - 2012-08-10 07:50

      Are you smoking something unusual?

  • ettiene.gerber - 2012-08-09 04:41

    We are leaving early this morning from port elizabeth to continue the search for the missing farmer in kareedouw. May god be with the family and friends. There is always hope!

      morne.kleyn.3 - 2012-08-09 05:47

      Good luck!May you find him alive and well.

      thembapat.mthini - 2012-08-09 09:28

      Our prayers are with you.

      theresa.myburgh.5 - 2012-08-09 19:51

      Thank you so much! We know my uncle will be alive! God is is awesome! Thanks to every one for all the support! It means a lot to us and his chilldren!xxxx

  • malusi.shumane.7 - 2012-08-09 09:01

    Condolences to their families

      andre.myburgh.984 - 2012-08-09 13:07

      Thanks my friend it is nice to hear that there is people that still have a heart because he not just a farmer but also a firefighter and paramedic for nearly twenty five years and never asked questions or made allegations about anyone or anybody.

  • Larry Damons - 2012-08-09 09:54

    very uncalled for Mpozana... pray that something like that won't ever happen to you..

  • Adil Smit - 2012-08-09 09:59

    Such extreme weather at the moment. A paramedic in the Western Cape also died when her vehicle swept away but flood waters. Condolences to the families.

      Adil Smit - 2012-08-09 10:01

      Some individuals on here incapable of showing compassion. Best to ignore them.

  • maureen.bryden - 2012-08-09 22:10

    News 24, was i8t really necessary to refer to her as THE WIFE? Surely she deserves the dignity of being named as Mrs Myburgh?

  • noedig.greene - 2012-08-10 10:39

    Fanie dutoit2 u 100% correct, even on this platform there is fraction of idiots from both sides who r really taking this country backwards the impact of their stupid comments are really a concern.

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