Search efforts are continuing for the 15 people who went missing after flash floods hit the Jukskei River during a church ritual on Saturday afternoon.
Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi told The Citizen on Sunday that police’s water wing, K9 and rescue units were at the scene of the tragedy, as well as the National Sea Rescue Institute, Gauteng emergency services and the city’s aquatic rescue team.
The incident took place just after the Corlett Drive offramp in Bramley Park, Sandton.
He said approximately 33 people from a church in Alexandra were attending a baptism ritual along the stream when a storm caused water levels to rise suddenly.
One woman was rescued, two drowned, and a number of congregants managed to run to safety. 15 people are still missing, Mulaudzi confirmed.
Search efforts, which saw part of Grayston Drive closed, were called off at 10pm on Saturday night.
The help of the local pastor has been requested to get in touch with the congregants not yet accounted for.
Festive season baptisms
“We know that during the festive season there will be a lot of religious ceremonies like baptisms, but water levels are high.
“They must exercise caution, and have safety measures in place when they conduct these rituals,” he emphasised.
Updates on the search efforts will be provided as the story develops.