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Katanning in mourning after body of A Jit Khan found more than a week after flood tragedy

Wednesday August 4, 2021 - 07:39 EST
ABC image
A Jit Khan leaves behind his wife and three children. - ABC

The Katanning community is mourning the loss of a father-of-three whose body has been found more than a week after he went missing in floodwaters.

Police recovered A Jit Khan's body this morning 50-80 metres from where his abandoned vehicle was discovered submerged north-west of Wagin last Tuesday.

Emergency services had spent days scouring the area for the 34-year-old, who was driving home from Perth to Katanning.

His ute was found on Ballagin Road where the Buchanan River burst its banks after heavy rain.

Police said it appeared Mr Khan was swept downstream after exiting the vehicle.

The hardest call

Katanning Imam Alep Mydie, who worked as a liaison between police and the family, spoke of his anguish at having to break the news to Mr Khan's family.

Mr Mydie and two police officers informed Mr Khan's wife of the discovery at 9:00am.

"We went to the house to inform the family that a body had been found.

"It wasn't easy, it wasn't easy.

"It wasn't happy, it's emotional, I was watching his three-year-old son running around ? it's devastating."

Devout, hard-working man

Mr Mydie said Mr Khan's wife had held out hope despite the eight days he'd been missing.

"She was still hoping he was alive, stuck somewhere in a paddock under a tree or hanging on at tree," he said.

"She didn't get that good news."

Mr Mydie said Mr Khan worked at Katanning's WAMMCO abattoir and was well-known in the small town.

"A Jit was a low-profile man, but everyone knows him," he said.

"He did his job at WAMMCO, he came to the mosque every Friday, often with his children ? now he's gone."

Tragic end to difficult search

Great Southern District Superintendent Kim Travers said the family had thanked emergency services for their efforts.

"They're, of course, very thankful for the efforts in finding their loved one," she said.

"It's very sad news but very comforting to return A Jit to his family."

Superintendent Travers said the search had been difficult due to heavy rainfall with several waters courses meeting at the site and flooding nearby farmland.

"Heavy rains pushed the [water level] to more than a metre during the search," she said.

Superintendent Travers said the efforts of emergency services, including many volunteers, was immense.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.


© ABC 2021

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