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Johannesburg flash flood kills 14 church members

A fatal flash flood in Johannesburg has led to the death of fourteen people associated with a church, while they were in the middle of performing a ritual. The incident took place on Saturday when more than 33 worshippers were hit by the sudden flood on Johannesburg’s Jukskei River while they were involved in a cleaning service. Most of the members were either in ankle-deep water or were standing on rocks when the shocking incident took place. Rescue tasks were carried out over the weekend and according to Robert Mulaudzi, a representative of the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, up until Sunday, 14 bodies have been found. Two members of the church are still missing.

Mirror reports:

Fourteen members of a church congregation have drowned after a deadly flash flood surged down on them as they performed a ritual.

The body of water had a surge wave over two feet high and washed over 33 terrified worshippers, who were at a cleansing service on the Jukskei River in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Most were standing on rocks, or in ankle deep water in the dirty river close to a township.

A pastor who survived the flood was performing a church service to cleanse his flock.

The religious group from a church in the township of Alexandra were taken by surprise and washed to their deaths following heavy rains up river, caused by the relentless torrent.

The tragedy occurred on Saturday, in the debris strewn river which saw a number of the group manage to scramble to higher ground.

But those unlucky enough to be caught by the fast current were swept away.

Over the weekend, rescue efforts were maintained and will carry on this morning.

Two members of the congregation who are still listed as missing by their family.

An eyewitness told local media: ”The river was as usual then there was suddenly a very loud noise from upstream and this half a metre high wave of water just came at us all.

“There was screaming and panic and then many were just gone.”

City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi confirmed 14 bodies had been recovered up until Sunday night.

He said: ”The total number of bodies recovered on Sunday is 12 and including 2 that were discovered on Saturday makes a total of 14 dead in this drowning incident.

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