Female Blue Sky Rescue Team member succumbs to Beijing torrential flood

2023-08-02 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Wang Hongchun, 41, was found dead approximately 30 kilometers downstream in a river Tuesday afternoon after she took part in rescue operations in the downpour-hit Fangshan District of Beijing.

Wang, from Guashi Village in Fangshan, joined the local Blue Sky Rescue Team in March 2013.

At around 8:00 p.m. Saturday, the team received a distress call from a woman in Baicaowa Village, Douzhen Town, saying she felt extremely scared as water had flooded her house by up to 2 meters, and she was with a child under 3 years old.

The rescue team, including Wang, encountered deep floodwater on the way, forcing a temporary retreat.

Around 10:00 p.m., Wang and the team engaged in providing accommodation and support services to other affected individuals.

At about 3:00 a.m. Sunday, the rescue team again rushed to Baicaowa where at 4:00 a.m., it helped divert traffic away from the damaged Bangezhuang Bridge.

At about 9 a.m., a flash flood near the bridge forced Wang, other five other team members, and two highway maintenance workers to seek refuge in a rubber raft.

However, the violent current, coupled with a large amount of floating debris, capsized the vessel and swept all occupants away.

Two team members were found and transferred to a local hospital after they were rescued about two kilometers downstream at 9:30 a.m. The third missing member was successfully rescued at 11:23 a.m. The fourth missing member managed to reach the shore safely in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, it was difficult to approach either riverbank due to communication interruptions and road blockades.

Despite the deployment of drones to aid the rescue mission, the remaining two team members could not be located.

Torrential rains triggered by Typhoon Doksuri battered Beijing from Saturday to Monday, leaving 11 dead and 13 missing, local authorities said.


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