Man with stolen car speakers strapped to him drowns in KZN floods


Man with stolen car speakers strapped to him drowns in KZN floods

Jeff Wicks | 2017-05-17 13:29:47.0

Police divers search for a missing man – believed to be a thief – who was swept away in flooding on Tuesday night.

Image by: SUPPLIED

Weighed down by a set of stolen car speakers‚ a KwaMakutha man drowned after being swept away in the surging waters of the Ezimbokodweni River on Tuesday night.

His death brings the number of those killed by heavy rains and flooding since the weekend to five. Disaster Management officials from across the province have begun taking stock of the storm damage‚ expected to amount to hundreds of millions of rand.

On the banks of the Ezimbokodweni on Wednesday‚ SAPS Search and Rescue Unit divers‚ guided by the nose of a K9‚ trawled through the muddy waters. The 28-year-old’s body was found after a brief search‚ with four stolen car speakers in a bag still strapped to his back.

It is understood that the man‚ along with his twin brother‚ had been attempting to cross the river when he lost his footing and was overwhelmed by the fast-flowing water.

While disaster management teams count the human cost of the days-long torrential rain – which lashed KZN from Friday until Tuesday morning – infrastructure has also taken a battering. Damaged railway lines plunged passenger rail services on the KZN south coast into turmoil.

Metrorail spokesperson Isabelle van der Westhuizen said that heavy rains had damaged a passenger line between Umbogintwini and Isipingo.

“The Engineers are currently busy repairing the damaged line. In the interim a shuttle service is running between Durban to Isipingo and Umbogintwini to Kelso.

“Engineers are working on restoring the service but due to the nature of the damage‚ it is unknown as to how long repairs will take. The pictures below are included to assist in understanding the magnitude of the damages to the line‚” she said.

She confirmed that a section of rail to a stockyard in Durban’s Springfield Park was also damaged with officials still expected to make their assessments.

Meanwhile‚ according to a statement issued by the Department of Traditional Affairs and Cooperative Governance‚ a clean-up operation was underway.

“We have logged and responded to a large number of incidents‚ including flash floods‚ which impacted on both public infrastructure and private property and disrupted lives in most parts of the province. We are pleased that all reported incidents were attended to promptly by our disaster management teams which provided immediate disaster relief to all affected communities. We are still assessing the long-term impact of damages to roads‚ public infrastructure and facilities as well as private properties and we continue to offer assistance to all concerned.”

At the Royal Durban Country Club‚ flooding was so severe that a golf day linked to the Tourism Indaba had to be cancelled. The course is still not open‚ with the club receiving more than 200ml of rain in just three days.

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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