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Woman dies in Shenzhen floods after making final phone call to husband

Posted: 09/2/2013 1:15 pm

Of the two deaths caused by storms and flooding in Shenzhen in recent days, one was particularly agonizing for both the victim and her family.

Storms and subsequent floods have caused all kinds of chaos in Shenzhen. On Friday alone, 47 firetrucks were put to use in 38 separate incidents as rain reached 113.8 mm. A man in Longhua was electrocuted, a bus fell into a pit on Meihua Road and, perhaps most poignantly of all, a woman drowned in her car shortly after telling her husband by phone that she would find a way out.

Tong Xuxian, 31, drowned in Xili when her car was stuck in her culvert during heavy rains, Daily Sunshine reported.

The possessions that rescuers found in Tong’s car, image courtesy of SZNews

At 4:40 a.m. on Friday, Tong’s husband was woken by a phone call while he was on a train back to the couple’s native Jiujiang in Jiangxi Province with their 9 year-old son. Tong told her husband, Huang Sentian, that she had already called the police because her car was trapped in a culvert and she was already up to her knees in water.

Tong Xuxian’s I.D. card being held up by her husband who returned to Shenzhen after the tragedy occurred, image courtesy of The Daily Sunshine

At 4:54 a.m. Huang called his wife back and she said: “The water is now almost up to my neck and I still can’t open the door. But don’t worry, I’ll come up with a solution.”

At 5:11 a.m. a school classmate of Tong called her and was told that the water had now reached her neck and that she was still waiting for emergency services.

At 5:13 a.m. Tong called her classmate back and exclaimed “How have you people not found me yet?” After realizing it wasn’t the rescuers she said “Sorry, wrong number.”

From 6:06 a.m. Tong’s phone could not be reached.

Rescuers didn’t find the car until 7:30 a.m. and her body was dragged out at 8 a.m.

The other person to be killed was 20 year-old Tan Yixian who was electrocuted while trying to recover valuables from the hairdressers where he worked in Shaxia. He died after being rushed to hospital.

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