Heroic priest drowned
A MISSIONARY has been swept away while saving locals hit by a major flood in Mozambique.
Fr Pietro De Franceschi was attempting to transport a number of patients, including a pregnant woman to the hospital of Mocuba — 200 km away.
The urgent state of the pregnant woman persuaded Fr De Franceschi to attempt the crossing of a submerged bridge, leaving some passengers on the bank.
The water still stood almost a yard over the normal height of the bridge and the car was swept away.
Four of the passengers managed to grasp the bridge's railings and clamber back to the bank. The woman and a young boy were swept away, and the former's body has been discovered down stream. The missionary managed to open the car's door and struggled for survival against the flood waters.
An on-looker described the last sighting of the priest: "In an attempt to swim he
emerged from the water three
times before being swallowed up by the raging waters."
All attempts to rescue the cleric were in vain. He is now considered dead by confreres and family.