Colombia boat sinking: Six killed and 16 missing

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

At least six people died when a boat carrying more than 150 passengers capsized while on a sightseeing tour on a reservoir in northwestern Colombia.

Rescuers including firefighters and air force pilots searched for survivors at the Guatape reservoir where El Almirante ferry sank.

Videos circulating on social media show a multi-story ferry sinking as a number of recreational boats rushed to the scene to pull people from the sinking vessel. "What we have seen in the videos is that the boat was very close to the port... and we do not know whether it was a mechanical failure, an overloading or something to do with the currents that caused it to sink", said Morales, the fire captain.

Margarita Moncada, the head of the disaster response agency in Antioquia state, said that according to a preliminary report 99 people were rescued and another 40 managed to find a way to shore on their own and were in good condition.

Since there was no passenger manifest listing who was on the boat, so authorities are working with survivors and family members to determine the identities of those on board.

Next he went to the hospital where he said he saw a baby girl in a wet dress who had been saved but whose mother he was told is missing.

A group of 25 scuba divers had to suspend their search overnight due to a lightning storm.

Local media has reported interviews with survivors who claimed that the boat, named El Almirante (The Admiral), appeared to be overloaded. None of the passengers were wearing a life vest. Guatape fills with tourists on long weekends like this one, since Monday is a holiday in Colombia.

"What makes you angry is there are no controls by the government", he said. Witness Juan Quiroz told the BBC the boat sank in less than five minutes.

As night fell, the usually festive town was silent as people began to register the magnitude of the loss.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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