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Watch: Pupils rescued from drowning after taxi driver tries to cross flooded bridge in KZN

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“I thought he was going to turn, but he kept going. When he was in the middle of the river, the car stopped and started drifting. I ran down the hill to the river along with other residents. When I got there, the children were screaming and crying, and they couldn’t open the door because the water was blocking it. There were other children on the roof screaming for help,” he said.

The raised side edges of the bridge prevented the taxi from being swept down the river.

While bystanders called emergency services, Mkhwanazi decided to jump in the water to rescue the children.

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“As I approached the car, the children who knew me started shouting my name. ‘Uncle Thokozani, help us,’ they shouted. I went to the car, pulled one of the children through the window … Community members approached and we took them out one by one. I was scared as I got into the river, but my biggest concern was that the rescue services would take time and be late.

Watch also: Hero or idiot bus driver? vs flooded river

“After pulling out all 17 children, I pulled out the driver, who was also still in the car,” said Mkhwanazi.

According to Mkhwanazi, everyone in the area knows the dangers of attempting to cross the river after heavy rains.

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He said last week, one person drowned and his body was later recovered after attempting to cross the bridge.

Mkhwanazi said the pupils were from different primary schools including Ngweni Primary, Phesheya Primary and Thembelihle Primary.

He said pupils were forced to skip school whenever the river overflowed. – TimesLive

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