British couple drowns in Spanish flash flood

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2011 8:32 AM
British couple drowns in Spanish flash flood

An elderly British couple drowned after being swept away by a flash flood that coursed through a street market in southeastern Spain, officials said Saturday.

Twenty-five minutes of heavy rain inland of the town of Finestrat caused a torrent to rush downhill Friday through the area in which the market had been set up, regional interior ministry representative Jose Perez Grau said.

Vendors and visitors alike were caught by surprise because it had not been raining in the town itself, he said.

The married couple's ages were given as 70 and 72 but they were not identified. The Diario de Informacion newspaper said they had been staying at a seaside hotel with relatives in Benidorm, 7 miles (12 kilometers) east of Finestrat.

Citing witnesses, the paper said the couple had gotten tangled in a canvas awning that had come loose and were dragged downstream, ending up trapped under a vehicle submerged in three feet (one meter) of water.

Their bodies were only discovered once the water had receded, the paper reported. Five other people were injured.

Britain's Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to the couple's family.


Raphael Satter in London contributed to this report.