The community of Rawsonville, just outside of Worcester, have rallied support around the families who lost loved ones after a tractor and trailer plunged into the Jan du Toit’s River on Sunday.
Eight people were on the trailer after collecting firewood, presumably to keep themselves warm during the cold and rainy weather, when the trailer was swept away by a strong current. Two managed to swim to safety and police divers recovered the bodies of three others – two 5-year-old children and one adult.
Three people are still missing and police are searching daily for them.
Speaking to iOL, Breede River Local Municipality community and services director, Jonathan Marthinus said, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) have joined in the search, as well as members of the local community.
“We are saddened, as the Breede Valley Local Municipality, to receive this sad news. This was probably caused by the heavy rains,” he said. “We live on farms, which forces our people to use firewood to warm themselves.”
Trauma counsellors from Worcester are providing counselling to the relatives of the three missing persons. Staff at the Thuthuzela Care Centre have made it their duty to provide food and toiletries to the affected families.
A local church has also provided blankets and clothes to those affected by the winter rain in Rawsonville. The municipality urged people not to attempt crossing flooded rivers.