Police expand search for missing girl Krystal Cain as conditions impede effort
The search for missing teenage girl Krystal Cain continues as police describe the hellish conditions crews are facing as a "war zone" with the terrain proving difficult to navigate.
Emergency services are now searching an area with a radius of about 10km from where Krystal, 14, was last seen.
The searching is slow and incredibly difficult due to the terrain and damage from floodwater with roads ripped up, debris, submerged vehicles and waters in some areas 10m deep.
Twenty-four SES crew members, 12 QFES officers including eight swiftwater rescue operators, two SES boat teams and 18 police officers including a water police team and eight specialist divers are part of the search party.
When floodwaters subsided on Monday afternoon, swiftwater teams were able to start swimming in still swollen creeks while patrols by horseback and all-terrain vehicles were deployed on the western side of Boonara Creek as it could not be accessed by foot.
Gympie Patrol Group Inspector and District Disaster Coordinator Paul Algie says the ongoing search is detailed and extensive, but they hold grave fears for Krystal.
“But we will continue to work through all available land and air strategies to try and help locate her,” he says.
“I understand many members of the community want to help the search and rescue effort and that is very admirable.
“But I cannot say strongly enough though, that this environment is incredibly dangerous and is only suitable for trained experts.”
“Please do not come out.”
Insp Algie says experienced members of the search teams are already succumbing to heat stress, leg and ankle injuries.
Police and emergency services were initially called to reports of a 40-year-old man and 14-year-old girl caught in floodwaters near the Burnett Highway and Murgon Gayndah Roads at Booubyjan, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
It is believed the pair were in a Toyota Camry sedan and managed to get out of the vehicle before it was swept away.
The man was rescued after being found clinging to a tree and was taken to Bundaberg Hospital for treatment.
A GoFundMe page for the missing girl describes her as a "loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend, with an incredible talent to sketch anime".
“She was swept away in a torrent of water whilst travelling to Agnes Water to see her grandparents,” the page says.
“Krystal is still missing and we hold hope that she is still alive somewhere.”