One dead, five missing as jeep washed away by strong river current in Meghalaya

Shillong, September 23 (PTI): A woman drowned and and five others were missing after their vehicle was swept away by strong currents when crossing a river in Meghalaya''s South West Khasi Hills district, an official said on Wednesday.

The incident took place at remote Mawjai village of the district on Tuesday when a jeep was crossing the swollen Tihiang river, officials said.

A rescue operation has been launched to trace the missing persons, district deputy commissioner C Kharkongor told PTI.

"In all, eight persons were travelling in an old Jeep. Two of them swam to safety. One woman was found dead and five, including an 1-year-old baby boy, are still missing," the deputy commissioner said.

The body of the women was fished out on Tuesday evening while her two daughters - a 16 year old and a 13 year-old - are still missing, she said.

The jeep was traced a few meters downstream, while the occupants including the driver are still missing.

Eyewitnesses said that the jeep had to drive across through the river as parts of the bridge was recently washed away by the river.

Heavy rainfall lashed Meghalaya in the past 48 hours and South West Khasi Hills district was one of the worst hit, a state disaster management official said.