PSP agents manage to rescue passengers from raging river
A 63-year-old taxi driver died after his car went off the road and disappeared into the rushing waters of the Odivelas River in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Authorities insist that the spot where Bellamino Silva left the road was not an accident blackspot. But within an hour, another car suffered the exact same fate, luckily the driver involved suffered no serious consequences.
In fact, Bellamino Silva was transporting a passenger who was miraculously rescued by a PSP agent who jumped into the water and bravely rescued him.
Agents were reportedly “unable to reach Bellamino,” who “disappeared in the current and darkness.”
The tragedy was compounded by the fact that the accident happened in total darkness.
Authorities recorded the first incident at 2am. The second time was “less than an hour later”, SIC TV news said.
Firefighters quickly arrived on the scene. One even painfully admitted establishing contact with the taxi driver “and then he stopped answering”.
The search continued until Sunday morning.
Bellamino Silva’s body was eventually found by locals in Barreiro. It was carried about 17 kilometers.
It was just one of many weather-related incidents from Saturday to Sunday night, as heavy rain kept authorities on their toes.
The report described 73 downed trees, 21 “structures” (panels, etc.) blown off their supports, and 72 flooding events. More incidents took place from Sunday into the early hours of this morning.
Multiple areas remain on alert orange, some until 3pm today and others until midnight, while rivers across the country are getting very fast flowing so avoid.
Meanwhile, locals in the Odivelas area where Saturday’s accident occurred called for more protection: not only to stop vehicles from falling into the river, but also to avoid potential flooding.
Locals told SIC TV news that accidents at the site “occur frequently” because it is a section of Ribeira da Póvoa with “no protection” from the river.
“So many cars have dropped here,” one resident told the news channel. But the president of the local parish council, Rogério Breia (PS), “denies the record of more accidents of this type on Saturday night”.
According to Breia, who was last aware of an incident that occurred in 2019, he was quoted by the SIC as saying that it would not have been possible to erect a wall at the site to avoid flooding the property.
One option that is now more likely to be investigated is to “shorten the road”, he told SIC.