Search for missing Johannesburg worshippers as flood death toll reaches 14

Rescue teams resumed search operations on Monday with at least three people still missing.

Rescue workers search the Jukskei River in Johannesburg
Rescue workers search the Jukskei River in Johannesburg

The death toll from a flash flood that swept away members of a church congregation along the Jukskei River in Johannesburg has risen from nine to 14, South African officials have confirmed.

Rescue teams resumed search operations on Monday with at least three people still missing.

Twelve bodies were recovered on Sunday in addition to the two bodies recovered on Saturday, Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said.

Members of the congregation were participating in rituals along the river when a flash flood swept away several of the worshippers.

South Africa Flash Flood Deaths
Rescuers carry the body of a flood victim retrieved from the Jukskei River in Johannesburg (AP)

The riverside services were being conducted near the populous Alexandra township, in eastern Johannesburg, however some of the bodies were found far downstream on the Jukskei, one of Johannesburg’s largest rivers.

Rescue operations were delayed due to heavy rain.

On Monday, the South African Weather Service warned that continued heavy rain may lead to more flooding in large parts of Gauteng province this week.

Communities living along the banks of the Jukskei River have been warned to exercise caution.

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