Woman drowns in submerged car while waiting 3 hours for rescuers

Woman drowns in submerged car while waiting 3 hours for rescuers
A woman was trapped in her car that was stuck in a flooded underpass in Xili. She reportedly drowned while waiting almost three hours to be rescued.

SHENZHEN - A woman drowned in her car after waiting nearly three hours for rescuers to reach her.

Chinese website Daily Sunshine reported that the woman, 31-year-old Tong Xuxian, was trapped in her car that was stuck in a flooded underpass during the heavy rains that have been plaguing Shenzhen recently.

Tong had been on the way to pick up her husband and nine-year-old son from a train station in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province.

Tong's husband, Huang Sentian, 32, was first alerted to his wife's situation at 4.40am on Friday, August 30.

She called him from Xili, saying she was up to her knees in water and that she had already informed the police, reported The Nanfang.

Fourteen minutes after the first phone call, Huang called his wife back and she reportedly told him, "The water is now almost up to my neck and I still cannot open the door. But don't worry, I'll come up with a solution."

The report then detailed how at 5.11am the water was up to Tong's neck and that she was still waiting for rescuers to arrive.

This was told to one of her classmates from her school days, who had called her.

At 5.13am, Tong tried to contact rescuers but mistakenly called her classmate back instead.

According to The Nanfang, she exclaimed on the phone before realising she had dialled the wrong number, "How have you people not found me yet?"

From 6.06am, Tong became uncontactable.

BeijingCream wrote that her car was finally located at 7.30am, two hours and 50 minutes after her initial phone call to her husband.

The woman's body was recovered 30 minutes later at a rear seat in the car.

Huang told South China Morning Post that police had said they arrived at 4.59am, when his wife was still alive.

"How could they not reach my wife? There are no acceptable excuses here," he told the paper, lamenting the city's poor drainage system.

A statement issued later by Nanshan district government said, "Police, firemen and ambulances rushed to the scene at 4.59am after they received a report at 4.54am...But torrential water metres deep made it difficult to reach the car."

Shenzhen was struck by torrential rain at about 2am on the day Tong died, but she decided to meet the pair, SCMP said.

According to The Nanfang, rainwater levels in Shenzhen on Friday reached 113.8mm, with two deaths and 47 firetrucks put to use in 38 separate incidents.

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