Inside phone call from student just before he drowned in his car in floodwaters in Glenorie, NSW

Pakistani national Ayaz Younas was on his first day of a new contracting job when his Toyota Camry became trapped in floodwaters

A student spent a desperate 39 minutes on the phone with emergency services before drowning in his car in New South Wales floodwaters.

Pakistani national Ayaz Younas was on his first day of a new contracting job when his Toyota Camry became trapped in the flood on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie on Sydney’s northern outskirts.

The inside of his car was badly damaged, indicating to police that he frantically battled to save his own life and escape as waters rose around him. 

The Pakistani Community of Australia said it has spoken to Mr Younas’ father.

‘[The] family has requested to send the body back to Karachi,’ a community leader said. 

Mr Younas, who has two elder brothers and one younger sister, was from Malir Cantt in Karachi and studied software engineering. 

NSW Police Detective Inspector Chris Laird said Mr Younas called Triple-Zero at 6.25am on Wednesday and remained on the line with the operator until about 7. 

‘Had he not rung us, we never would have found him. Not until the water receded anyway,’ Det Insp Laird said.

Pakistani national Ayaz Younas' Toyota Camry became trapped in the flood on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie on Sydney's northern outskirts

Pakistani national Ayaz Younas’ Toyota Camry became trapped in the flood on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie on Sydney’s northern outskirts

Mr Younas called Triple-Zero at 6.25am on Wednesday and remained on the line with the operator until about 7

Mr Younas called Triple-Zero at 6.25am on Wednesday and remained on the line with the operator until about 7 

Emergency crews were called to Cattai Ridge Road, near Hidden Valley Lane in Glenorie at about 6.30am on Wednesday, following reports a car was submerged in floodwaters

Emergency crews were called to Cattai Ridge Road, near Hidden Valley Lane in Glenorie at about 6.30am on Wednesday, following reports a car was submerged in floodwaters

‘But we can only speculate again that given what I have seen and the damage to the vehicle that it could very well be that the electrics totally failed, and he was simply unable to escape from the car which is an absolute tragedy,’ 

‘You can only just imagine somebody fighting for their life to get out of the car — that’s what the inside damage of the car looked like.’

Det Insp Laird said there ‘was not broken windows, he clearly couldn’t get out’. 

He said the roads had multiple signs and road closure warnings, yet the car was located 30 metres into flood waters and six metres under water.   

Emergency crews later arrived at the scene and recovered Mr Younas’ body at 1pm after locating his submerged car.

Det Insp Laird suggested the car’s electrical system may have failed. 

‘Also too, the remote location of the area, (we’ll ask) questions about what he was doing up there. He may not have known the area as locals would,’ he said. 

‘Also, the fact that he was on the phone for so long is even more tragic and is going to form part of our inquiries as to what actually went on in the car and why this tragic accident occurred.’ 

There was also a padlocked gate blocking off the road, but it was submerged. 

Det Insp Laird said the 25-year-old had strong roots in western Sydney, and that his friends in Australia were devastated by the news.

‘From the police force, all emergency services, here is the very reason why you should not make any attempt to drive through swollen rivers,’ he said. 

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott offered his condolences, saying it would send ripples through the northwest Sydney community.

The car with the man's body inside was found in Cattai Creek (pictured) at about 1pm following a NSW Police and SES Flood Rescue search. The man has not yet been formally identified

The car with the man’s body inside was found in Cattai Creek (pictured) at about 1pm following a NSW Police and SES Flood Rescue search. The man has not yet been formally identified

Police divers are seen searching Cattai Creek on Wednesday, following reports a car was submerged in floodwaters

Police divers are seen searching Cattai Creek on Wednesday, following reports a car was submerged in floodwaters

A police officer is seen in Glenorie after a man's body was discovered in a car in Sydney's north-west

A police officer is seen in Glenorie after a man’s body was discovered in a car in Sydney’s north-west

In Queensland a desperate search for David Hornman, 38, ended when his body was found inside his ute in the Gold Coast Hinterland on Wednesday afternoon

Mr Hornman's white 2013 Isuzu D-Max ute was then discovered floating in the flooded Canungra Creek on Wednesday morning

In Queensland a desperate search for David Hornman, 38, ended when his body was found inside his ute in the Gold Coast Hinterland on Wednesday afternoon 

‘The human cost of these floods has been brought into sharp focus in the most tragic of circumstances and I urge communities to continue to be cautious in the face of continued and imminent threats to life,’ Mr Elliott said. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also made statements in federal parliament commemorating the 25-year-old.

Mr Morrison labelled Wednesday a ‘terribly sad day’, saying he knew the area well from childhood camping trips and felt for the man’s family. 

The premier said there is still extreme danger in flood-hit areas despite the sunshine in Sydney on Wednesday. 

‘Whilst the sun is out conditions remain extremely dangerous, rivers are still rising,’ she said.

A police car and tape blocks the crime scene off to the community in Glenorie on Wednesday

A police car and tape blocks the crime scene off to the community in Glenorie on Wednesday

Police boats head out on to floodwaters to deliver basic supplies donated by Coles to stranded locals in the Windsor region on Wednesday

Police boats head out on to floodwaters to deliver basic supplies donated by Coles to stranded locals in the Windsor region on Wednesday

‘We ask everybody, especially if they are in vehicles to be extra cautious.

‘Some would suggest it is even more dangerous now as rivers continue to rise and catchments fill up with water.’ 

In Queensland, a desperate search for David Hornman, 38, ended when his body was found inside his ute in the Gold Coast Hinterland on Wednesday afternoon. 

The 38-year-old father was last seen on Monday and had not contacted his family since heading to a job in the Tamborine area, where torrential rain caused flash flooding this week.

His ute was spotted earlier in the day in the flooded Canungra Creek. 

Mr Hornman’s desperate wife has been active on social media since then, appealing for help from anyone who saw him.

‘He didn’t turn up to work and hasn’t been able to be reached since. His phone is turned off,’ Angela Hornman posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

‘I just have to know he’s ok. Please tell him no matter what I LOVE HIM.’   

SES volunteers and NSW Police begin delivering food, medicine and essential items and inspecting properties inundated but floodwaters around Windsor in the north west of Sydney

SES volunteers and NSW Police begin delivering food, medicine and essential items and inspecting properties inundated but floodwaters around Windsor in the north west of Sydney

The Windsor Bridge is seen submerged under rising floodwaters along the Hawkesbury River on Thursday

The Windsor Bridge is seen submerged under rising floodwaters along the Hawkesbury River on Thursday

Meanwhile, residents in one part of the NSW Mid-North coast have been allowed to return home as emergency services warn some of the state’s rivers will remain swollen into the weekend and flooding is still a risk.

The areas of continued concern include Moree in the NSW northwest, the Upper Hunter around Singleton, Grafton, parts of the Central Coast and the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment northwest of Sydney.

Seventeen flood evacuation orders remain in place affecting people living in low-lying areas of Ulmarra, Brushgrove and on Wednesday night another evacuation order was issued for Cowper on the Clarence River in northern NSW.

Major flooding was occurring at Grafton, Ulmarra and Maclean on Thursday morning.

Major flooding was also occurring along the Hawkesbury River and authorities said it was likely to continue at North Richmond and Windsor until the end of the week.

Helicopters are being used to deliver emergency supplies to isolated communities around the Hawkesbury River. 

Almost 24,000 people in NSW have been evacuated but the torrential rain that has battered the state for the past week has finally subsided.

About 60,000 people have been told by the State Emergency Service to be ready to evacuate, with major flood warnings still in place for the Macintyre, Gwydir, Clarence and Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo rivers.

There have been 11,000 calls for help to the SES so far, and 950 flood rescues.

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