2 detainees drown as van swept into floodwaters in SC

The two deputies

The two deputies"attempted to extricate the persons being transported but failed according to the Horry County Sheriff's Office

Authorities confirm two detainees drowned when a van was swept away in rising flood waters in SC.

Thompson said there was one door to the containment area of the van where women were trapped.

According to a corrected report from local media, a Horry County Sheriff's Office van carrying two people described as "mental health patients" were chained inside and died while the two deputies driving and escorting, survived.

The deputies waited on top of the van until rescuers arrived.

Richardson says the patients' bodies were being recovered Wednesday morning.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van was still in the water as of about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, WPDE reported.

"A Horry County Sheriff's Office transportation vehicle was involved in a high-water incident tonight".

US President Donald Trump visited storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday, while the state's governor, Roy Cooper, pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet, warning the flooding is far from over and will get worse in some places.

An investigation of these drowning deaths is being led by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), whose agents were dispatched to the scene late Tuesday.

"They got out and tried to open the van to get the ladies out", Thompson told reporters on Wednesday.

That's according to documents obtained from the State Law Enforcement Division concerning 45-year-old Windy Wenton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green.

They traveled northwest, on their way to Darlington about 100 miles away, across an obstacle course of blocked roads and swollen waters.

They had to suspend recovery efforts due to rising water.

Under South Carolina law, people who have been certified by a physician as posing an imminent risk of harm to themselves by virtue of mental illness and are the subject of an involuntary emergency admission must be transported by law enforcement to whichever designated hospital has agreed to admit them, according to officials with the state's Department of Mental Health.

"The two deputies attempted to extricate the persons being transported". A sixth tornado hit Mecklenburg County, near the North Carolina border, the same day.

Several roads in the area were closed due to flooding.

On Wednesday, the sheriff said the vehicle had not yet been recovered yet due to risky conditions and rising waters.

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson confirmed to AP earlier Tuesday that two women died in the incident.

The women's deaths bring the total to at least 35 killed since Florence made landfall Friday as a Category 1 storm.

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