One-year-old child drowns in raging Mpumalanga river after storm Eloise

Rescue workers enter the Blyde River near Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, to recover the body of a man who drowned in floods following tropical storm Eloise. The body of a one-year-old infant who washed away was also recovered in Mpumalanga on Tuesday.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The body of a one-year-old infant who was swept from her mother’s arms as she tried to cross a flooded river in Badplaas, Mpumalanga, was recovered on Tuesday.

The province, along with Limpopo, has been hit by heavy rains and floods caused by tropical storm Eloise.

The storm, though downgraded in strength, has uprooted trees, damaged houses, caused floods and seen dams and rivers overflowing.

Reports from the police and rescuers at the scene in Badplaas indicate that the mother was trying to cross a flooded river when her daughter was swept from her arms.

A police officer, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the child’s body had been recovered further downstream.

The recovery comes hours after divers and search and rescue operators from the police, Off Road Rescue Unit and Rescue SA recovered the body of a man who drowned while trying to cross a river outside Pilgrims Rest.

On Sunday, the body of a five-year-old boy was recovered near Masoyi after he was swept away by flood waters.

by Graeme Hosken

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