KHAMMAM: Four persons were washed away along with some 80 sheep in Munneru River which received flash floods on Monday following heavy rains in its catchment areas. Hundreds of people watched them screaming for help, but none could venture to their rescue. Even the professional divers engaged by the official machinery were of no help.

But four other persons including two women were rescued from the swirling waters of the river after a long wait by two fishermen. They stood firmly on two rocks along with a huge herd of sheep in the middle of the river. As the water rose further, they failed to save the animals. They watched helplessly as they were washed away one after the other.

Those washed away were identified as K. Kannabai, 50 and her daughter, Jyothi 15 (both from Chandrapur in Maharashtra), Mota Mangamma, 26 (Station Ghanpur, Warangal district) and Vemula Chinnadurgaprasad (Pidilla village in Guntuur district). Kannabai’s family was engaged in selling, photographs, metal chains and key chains. They had been to the river for bathing along with many others from the Saradhinagar locality. Some of them found themselves neck deep in waters because of sudden increase in the flood flow.

A few of them could swim ashore. Khammam Revenue Divisional Officer Chandrasekhar Reddy and Mandal Revenue Officer Saidaih reached the spot with some divers.

But as the flood-level was rising rapidly, the divers could not venture into the river.

A hamali working in the FCI godowns nearby and his brother were successful in reaching those trapped on the rock formations in the river bed and rescued them.