The frantic search for a missing eight-year-old girl and a man continues at the canal in Belgravia Estate in Athlone on Friday. There’s a sense of anxiety as community members help in the search for the two. The girl had been playing with friends on the bank of the ‘vlei’ when she fell into the water. The man had reportedly tried to rescue her when he also disappeared into the water.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said: “Police members, law enforcement agencies, the fire department and community members are looking for the girl and the man along the canal. The investigation continues.”
Shortly after the incident on Thursday, fire crews from Ottery and Epping fire stations and divers from Roeland Street fire station were dispatched to the scene.
“When they arrived, residents told the officer in charge that a man had jumped into the canal as well to save the girl. Members of the Ottery fire crew positioned themselves in Klipfontein Road across from the Mary Harding School, while Epping’s crew was at Kudu and Hickory streets, and at Loerie and Cornflower street, and divers at the sewerage plant. Police divers were at Buckner Road in Hazendal. A buoy, thrown into the canal to ascertain a possible exit point, emerged at Kudu and Hickory roads,” said fire services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse.
By 4.30pm on Thursday afternoon, the search had to be suspended due to the poor weather conditions.