Leeds daughter’s fears for father facing Bosnia flood nightmare

ANXIOUS WAIT: Selma Redzepagic.
ANXIOUS WAIT: Selma Redzepagic.
Have your say

A family from Leeds is facing an anxious wait for news after losing contact with a man caught up in the devastating Balkan floods.

Adnan Redzepagic has not been heard from for three days after returning to Bosnia on holiday with his wife, Jasminka, and daughter, Azra.

His other daughter, Selma, 29, who is still in Leeds, said she was racked with worry.

“I’ve been worried all weekend. I’ve not been in touch with him for three days and I’m really upset about the whole situation,” she said.

“It’s so sad that, after the war that so badly affected the country, they have been working so hard to get themselves back on their feet and now this has happened. It’s a tragedy.”

Three months worth of rain fell in three days last week in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in a deluge described as catastrophic by government and emergency officials.

In Bosnia, a third of the country is under water, mostly in northern and eastern areas. A quarter of the four million population live in the affected areas.

At least 19 people have died in the flooding.

Heavy landslides have moved landmines and minefields from the 1992-95 Bosnian War and warning signs are in place at some 9,000 spots.

Mr Redzepagic, 52, and his family moved to Leeds 22 years ago after the outbreak of war.

They now live in Guiseley, where Mr Redzepagic set up his own construction business AR Building. Mrs Redzepagic was a teaching assistant at Green Meadows School for several years.

The couple were on holiday with their daughter in Janja, close to the river of Drina, when their home started to flood.

Mrs Redzepagic and Azra went to stay with relatives while Mr Redzepagic remained behind to try to keep the flood waters at bay. He has not been heard from since Thursday.

Selma said: “Our house is right next to the river and it’s in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know where he is or if he’s safe.

“The last time I spoke to him he said he had to save our dogs and he had moved them upstairs. It’s hard to know what to do.”

She is now hoping to raise awareness and wants to rally support for people affected by the floods.

“What’s happening is terrible and there doesn’t seem to have been that much in the news over here,” she said. “I just want to do something to help – whether that’s getting clothes together of money or food to send over.”

Anyone who can help can contact her on selmaredzepagic84@hotmail.co.uk

New Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom speaks to the media at Thorp Arch, about his appointment. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Rob Atkinson: Heckingbottom’s ethos is Leeds United through and through