Man dies as car swept away by swollen stream

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The Independent Online

A man has died and two others are missing after a car was swept away while trying to cross a swollen stream, police said today.

A fourth man escaped from the Volvo saloon as it filled with flood water in the early hours of this morning, and raised the alarm.

The car got into difficulties while trying to make the crossing in the village of Zennor, near St Ives in west Cornwall.

The fire service, police and coastguard are all combing the area today in the search for survivors.

The body of a male was found at 7.05am today.

One man freed himself from the Volvo S70 before it was sucked out into the water on the B3306 between St Ives and St Just.

He called Ambulance Control at 1.41am saying that three others remained unaccounted for.

At 2.24am today the green Volvo was found "fully submerged and full of water", a police spokesman said.

The force said in a statement this morning: "Emergency service personnel are currently conducting a search in the Zennor area of West Cornwall for the occupants of a vehicle that was swept away as it attempted to cross a swollen stream, during the early hours of Saturday 25th April.

"Police were called by Ambulance Control at 1.41am. A male caller to the ambulance (service) reported that he had managed to get out of the vehicle before it was washed away, but that three other persons in the vehicle were unaccounted for.

"A search was commenced, involving fire service, coastguard, police and Cornwall Rescue Group personnel and at 2.24am, the vehicle, a green Volvo S70 saloon, was located, fully submerged and full of water.

"The search has continued throughout the night and at 7.05am, the body of a male was found."

Two water rescue teams and a search and rescue helicopter are currently scouring the scene.

The potential tragedy occurred as flooding was reported in several parts of St Ives, due to the heavy rainfall overnight.

A spokesman for Cornwall County Fire Brigade said: "Due to severe rain in the St Ives area, appliances attended numerous incidents in the area."

Flooding was reported at three hotels, with the St Ives Bay, and the Chy an Albany being evacuated. The Primrose Valley was given general assistance to ease flooding.

Residents forced to leave were put up at a nearby hotel.

Excess water was also found in Porthia road and water was also pumped from a house in Zennor.

The dead man is understood to be local, and in his early 20s.

The chair of Zennor parish council Mike Hindley said it was possible that those involved were heading back from work.

Mr Hindley said today: "It was freak conditions. My home was flooded and the village pub was also under six inches of water. Everywhere looked like a river.

"The stream runs under the road and there's a small bridge over it, but it is not normally up that high."