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No bodies found under flood bridge

Updated January 13, 2011 17:09:00

Cars are crushed against the rail bridge at Grantham

'Good news': No bodies have been found at the Grantham rail bridge. (AAP Image: Dave Hunt)

Police say no bodies were found in the wreckage of up to 30 crumpled cars which were wedged under Grantham's railway bridge at the height of the floods in the Lockyer Valley.

There are grave fears for 12 people, most of them from two families, who are still missing after floods hit the Murphys Creek area near Toowoomba late on Monday.

The official death toll from the floods in and around Brisbane and Toowoomba is at 15 and a total of 74 people are still listed as missing in the Lockyer Valley, after a wall of water tore down the range from Toowoomba, sweeping away houses and cars.

There had been speculation that many bodies were trapped under the bridge after their cars were hurled downstream by the floodwaters.

But Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said the news that no bodies had been found was "probably the one bit of good news we've had out of Lockyer today".

"The clearance of the rail bridge at Grantham has now been completed," he said.

"All of the vehicles have been removed and we've had police divers check the remaining waterhole under the bridge.

"I'm happy to say that no further deceased persons were located as a result of this search, so that is very very good news at this time."

Earlier Commissioner Stewart said officers were expecting the death toll to rise.

"Unfortunately the sheer scale of this disaster in the Murphys Creek area would suggest to us that the people who are missing there - and there are two families who account for most of those 11 - they have not been located," he told the Nine Network.

"We hope we can determine what has happened to them today."

Commissioner Stewart said searches were also continuing in the small towns of Grantham and Withcott.

"We've been able to search a large number of the homes there," he said.

"The problem we have is that the people have been washed out of their homes and some of the homes are actually destroyed, like bombs have gone off there.

"It's a war scene in the Lockyer Valley today."

- ABC/AAP

Tags: disasters-and-accidents, emergency-incidents, floods, australia, qld, grantham-4347, murphys-creek-4352, toowoomba-4350, withcott-4352

First posted January 13, 2011 09:18:00

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