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Cops looking into fatal police flood chase

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In just over a week, northern Queensland has been hit with extreme rain which has caused rivers and dams to overflow, which has caused immense flooding which has affected at least 200,000 people.

Two bodies have been discovered in a stormwater drain in Aitkenvale, Townsville. Picture: Zak SimmondsSource:News Corp Australia

Queensland Police has launched an investigation into the conduct of the officers who responded to an early-morning break-in on Monday morning that allegedly led to two men being sucked into a “man-sized” stormwater drain.

The Ethical Standards Command is investigating the lead-up to the deaths of Troy Mathieson, 23, and Hughie Morton, 21, in floodwaters in Townsville.

Their bodies were found about 12pm yesterday as the water receded in a large open stormwater drain running through Aitkenvale Park in Townsville.

The two men were found yesterday afternoon. Picture: Zak Simmonds

The two men were found yesterday afternoon. Picture: Zak SimmondsSource:News Corp Australia

The police ethical unit will investigate the police who had been searching for the men after an attempted break-in at a nearby Dan Murphy’s liquor store at 3am on Monday.

Police had been called to the shopping centre on Ross River Rd and reportedly saw the two men running into floodwaters.

“(The men) were involved in another police investigation,” state disaster co-ordinator and police Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee said.

The police probe will be overseen by the state’s Crime and Misconduct Commission and a report will be prepared for the State Coroner.

A relative of the men Kandace Wyles told the Courier-Mail the family was devastated.

“They (the family) are not coping at all,” she told the newspaper. “They were beautiful boys.” A local resident, who did not want to be named, saw police recovering the bodies.

Man-sized pipes spill into the drain where the pair were found, he said.

“It’s a direct line from Dan Murphy’s to where they found them,” he told AAP.

“There’s a drain just outside Dan’s and if they were sucked in there, they never stood a chance.”

The stormwater drain where police found the two bodies. Picture: GoogleMaps

The stormwater drain where police found the two bodies. Picture: GoogleMapsSource:Supplied

THE BIG WET HITS DAY 12

Hundreds of people remain holed up in evacuation centres across Townsville waiting for floodwaters to recede as North Queensland’s big wet rolls into its 12th day.

The one-in-100-year monsoonal deluge is far from over with the Bureau of Meteorology warning more heavy rain is likely from Palm Island, north of Townsville, to Mackay today.

The ongoing severe weather warning follows the discovery of two men’s bodies in a Townsville drain after floodwater receded.

The tragic news came as residents cautiously contemplated their losses and the massive mop-up operation ahead.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll says it is impossible to know how many homes have gone under across north Queensland.

“It’s easily hundreds, it could be thousands,” she said yesterday, but added audit teams were being hampered by the enduring risk of flash floods with each new deluge.

A convoy of armoured vehicles driving through Townsville yesterday. Picture: Dave Acree

A convoy of armoured vehicles driving through Townsville yesterday. Picture: Dave AcreeSource:AAP

The 12-day-old weather event has exhausted emergency service workers, who have carried out thousands of rescues since the flood crisis began.

More than 100 fresh police officers and nurses will begin flying into Townsville to relieve their local colleagues today.

Their arrival comes as schools in the region begin reopening as the monsoon trough slowly pushes south.

The vigorous weather system has delivered disaster to Townsville and generated floods out west, with farmers around Cloncurry, McKinlay and Flinders shire reporting livestock losses.

The rain isn’t over yet, however, with the bureau saying six-hourly totals up to 200mm are likely into today in the warning area.

A severe weather warning has also been issued for the west coast of Cape York Peninsula where damaging winds and abnormally high tides are possible.

Major flood warnings also remain in place for the Ross, Haughton, Upper Burdekin, Flinders, Cloncurry and Leichhardt rivers.

An emergency alert was issued for Hughenden with the Flinders River expected to cause flooding on the north side.

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