Northern Ireland

Miracle no-one killed on flooded road - councillor

The car which was trapped as a result of the flooding
Image caption The car was trapped as a result of flooding

A Draperstown councillor said it is a miracle no-one has been killed using a river crossing liable to flooding.

A woman, her 15-week old baby and six-year-old child had to be rescued by firefighters on Friday night when their car got trapped on Mulnavoo Road over the River Moyola.

Sinn Fein councillor Brian McGuigan said local people do not use the road following heavy rain.

He said warning signs are needed to help prevent a tragedy.

Mr McGuigan said the family were lucky not to have lost their lives as the road they were on becomes a ford.

"They were apparently, from the information that I have, using a sat nav which put them on that road," he said.

"They drove into the river or very near. They didn't actually drive into the middle of it because if they had it would have ended up with there being fatalities.

"This has happened on at least three or four occasions and what needs to happen now is a focus on better signage."

Carried to safety

The woman got out of the vehicle with her children at a ford near the River Moyola and made it to a footbridge.

Firefighters in life jackets then carried them to safety.

Heavy rain on Friday caused flooding on a number of roads in Northern Ireland making some impassable.

Mark Watson, District Commander of the Fire Service in Cookstown, said 18 firefighters were involved in the operation.

He described the situation they faced when they arrived.

"The mother had managed to get out of the car with the two young children and made it to the footbridge which was running alongside the ford, but she couldn't make it to safety from there," he said.

"So when fire crews arrived they were faced with a mother, a six-year-old and a 15-week-old child stuck on the bridge."

Mr Watson said the family were not injured as a result of the incident but were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Police officers and a police helicopter were also involved in the rescue operation.