The lack of phone reception in Alice Springs has further complicated search operation. Photo: n Broadcasting CorporationAtourist trapped after a car washed off a causeway at the flooded Hugh River near Alice Springs, has been found,Northern Territory police said.
The tourist was among a group of three who attempted to cross the causeway when rapid water swept the car away at about 1pm on Tuesday.
Acting Superintendent Brendan Muldoon said the vehicle, which had been wedged against a tree about 250 metres downstream from the causeway, hadgone missing from sight.
Several witnesses were at the scene when the car began to float and moved sideways, before it was completelywashed off of the causeway.
Northern Territory Duty Superintendent Brendan Muldoon speaks about the missing tourists. Photo: ABC News
The driver got out of the “small, silver sedan” as soon as it began to float, followed shortly by one of the passengers. The third person was unable to get out.
According to witnesses, the car “rolled over a couple of times before it wedged up against a tree”, SuperintendentMuldoon said.
“The vehicle has since disappeared and we do hold grave concerns for that third passenger,” hesaid.
Emergency services were unable to drive to Hugh River with a floodboat because roads were “impassable” due to floodwaters, an NT Police spokesman said. A helicopter was dispatched to survey the area.
Northern Territory police are urging people not to crossflooded causeways or enter flooded rivers.
As record rainfallsdrench the region, six people who set out fromWestern for the NT have been missing for two daysare believed to be bogged,SuperintendentMuldoon said.
Search efforts have been held back by the extreme weather, with police hoping to carry out an aerial search now that conditions have improved. Photo: Facebook
Five adults and a baby left in two cars – believed to be a Nissan Navara anda Ford Sedan – from Kiwirrkurra on Christmas Daybut never arrived at their destination of Kintoreinthe NT, about 180 kilometres away.
A plane sent out by police spotted two cars about 4pm and a helicopter has been sent out to find the missing people. It is not yet known whether they are inside their vehicles.
Search efforts have been held back by the extreme weather, with police unable to carry out ground searches due to flooded roads.
“We’re seriously concerned for their welfare and are putting all our efforts to making sure we get out there as soon as we can,” SuperintendentMuldoon said.
The lack of phone reception in the”extremely remote” area hadfurther complicated the search operation, he said.