Woman's body retrieved after Limpopo flash flood, search continues for 4 others

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  • A woman's body was retrieved after she had been swept way while crossing a flooded bridge. 
  • The Limpopo authorities are still looking for four more people. 
  • Residents are warned not to cross flooded bridges. 

A woman's body has been retrieved after she and four other people drowned while trying to cross a flooded low-lying bridge in Limpopo.

Cooperative Governance MEC Basikopo Makamu said in a statement that the woman’s body was retrieved on Wednesday.  

Psychosocial support had been offered to her family. 

Makamu said the search was ongoing for four more people who were swept away.

WATCH | Limpopo rescue teams search for people swept away by raging waters on flooded bridge

In a video of the incident, shocked drivers watch as a taxi is swept away as it tries to cross the overflowing bridge.

There is also a traffic jam on either side of the bridge with motorists unable to pass. 

Mike Maringa, Limpopo transport and community safety department spokesperson, said two vehicles - the minibus taxi and a sedan - were recovered on the river bank, but that their occupants had not been found. 

"Amongst them was a 20-year-old taxi driver who allegedly tried to cross the Thorncliffe River just outside Steelpoort, but his vehicle was unfortunately swept away and discovered downstream."

Makamu said search and rescue teams would continue looking for the missing people. He also said the SA Weather Service had issued a level four disruptive weather warning over the south-eastern parts of Limpopo.

Makamu warned residents to "be wary of attempting to cross flooded bridges".

"We are in the middle of tropical rain season and we may experience more flash floods during this period. We, therefore, plead with our people to be cautious when driving during heavy downpours."

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