A girl has miraculously escaped, but 3 people appear to have drowned in a car in the NSW floods

The Tweed River, near Murwillumbah, in flood last Thursday. Photo: Jason O’Brien/Getty Images

A nine-year-old girl has survived after the car she was travelling in was swept into a flooded river in northern New South Wales, but it’s feared three people may be dead.

Boats using sonar equipment located the vehicle about five metres from the northern bank of the Tweed River this afternoon after emergency services were called to Tumbulgum, just south of the Queensland border, at 1.40pm.

The girl, who was travelling in the vehicle, was able to escape and raise the alarm with residents at a nearby property. She was taken to hospital in a stable condition and is now being cared for by family members.

The ABC reports an eyewitness attempted to dive into the flooded river on Dulguigan Road to try and rescue the people trapped in the car, which floated 40 metres down the river before sinking, but was unable to help because the water was too murky and deep.

The driver is believed to be the child’s mother, while two siblings, aged around six and 12, were in the car.

NSW Police assistant commissioner Jeff Loy described it as a tragic event.

“We understand that it is going to have a major impact on the family and the Tweed community,” he said.

Police divers from Sydney are currently heading to area. The search for the car and the missing people will resume tomorrow morning.

A crime scene guard will remain in place overnight, with the road closed two kilometres south from the intersection of Dulguigan and MacCauley’s roads.

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