By ELIAS LARI
A SEVEN-year-old and his dad narrowly escaped death when their vehicle was swept away by floods in the Dei district of Western Highlands province on Tuesday night.
Taks Ruk and his son, Sydney, were crossing the Yan River at around 9pm when their Toyota Landcruiser was swept away by floods.
Mr Ruk said he was not aware that there was heavy rainfall upstream that day and was in the middle of the river when they were hit by flash floods.
He said they were swept away for about 100m downstream as they could not open the doors and escape.
Mr Ruk said his son was already crying when the water level rose above the door level.
“I kept on screaming but it was in vain; nobody could hear me.”
Mr Ruk said the fear in him probably gave him the strength to force open the door and he jumped out, dragging young Sydney with him as they swam to safety.
Villagers living nearby saw them and came to their rescue, using some bush ropes to anchor the vehicle onto a tree to prevent it from being swept further downstream.
According to Mr Ruk, Cameron Construction had removed the Yan River Bridge when carrying out major road maintenance work last year and had not replaced it.
The road maintenance project was funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Mr Ruk is also calling on provincial government authorities to do look into the matter immediately before a major accident occurs.