Family missing in Gard: the body of a man found, the two children still sought

The family was returning home after dinner on the night of Saturday to Sunday when their vehicle was swept away by water as it passed over a submersible bridge.

Family missing in Gard: the body of a man found, the two children still sought

The family was returning home after dinner on the night of Saturday to Sunday when their vehicle was swept away by water as it passed over a submersible bridge.

Storm Monica has wreaked havoc. Particularly affected, the Gard department has already recorded four deaths. Three were discovered on Sunday, the fourth victim is a man who could be the father of the family who has been missing since Saturday evening. His body was found this Monday, March 11 in the morning. But this sad assessment could well still be only provisional. Indeed, the man's two children, aged 4 and 13, are still missing this Monday evening.

"Provisional human toll in the town of Dions: the body of a man was found this morning. The vehicle of the missing was found downstream of the submersible bridge yesterday", indicated on X the prefect of Gard at midday this Monday, thus foreshadowing the worst regarding the fate of the two children. With their parents, the latter allegedly attempted to cross a submersible bridge by car, which was not closed to traffic, around 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening, in Dions.

By taking refuge on the roof, the family managed to contact emergency services. When they arrived, only the mother, who had taken refuge in a tree, was able to be rescued. The father and children were reportedly swept away by the swollen river. The vehicle was found empty downstream from the scene of the tragedy.

The mother of the missing 41-year-old man, distraught, explained to Le Parisien that she had hosted the family for dinner on Saturday: “When they left, around 11 p.m., it was raining hard, but there was nothing alarming either. It was my daughter-in-law who took the wheel, she doesn't drink a drop of alcohol and is never reckless."

This Sunday, 32 firefighters, including 20 underwater rescuers, but also drones and a helicopter were mobilized. The search was finally interrupted at nightfall, before resuming this Monday at dawn. According to the deputy departmental director of the Gard firefighters to AFP, the searches proved dangerous in view of “the situation of the waterways”. With the decline of the Gardon, new spaces were made accessible this Monday for research. The device was “recalibrated according to the decline in watercourses”. 200 gendarmes and 110 firefighters were then mobilized again to find the missing. At midday, the Gard prefecture indicated on X that “110 firefighters and 120 gendarmes [were] still engaged in the search for the missing.”

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