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3 dead, dozens missing after Colombia ferry sinks

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Authorities confirmed Sunday at least three people are dead after a tourist boat sunk in a reservoir near the city of Guatapé in northwestern Colombia.

“At the moment, we can confirm the deaths of three people and that there are approximately 30 more missing,” National Police Director Gen. Jorge Hernando Nieto told the El Colombiano newspaper.

“We are involved in a full rescue operation,” Victoria Eugenia Ramírez, a local government official told the newspaper. “According to the company running the boat, there were 150 people aboard. The rescue operation is being coordinated by the local government and includes members of the air force, the navy, the army and the police. The boat did not suffer a collision, it just sank.”

Yomaira Rosales, the secretary for Tourism for the Antioquia region said dozens of victims had been rescued.

Police have closed roads to holiday traffic to allow victims to be easily transported to hospitals.

Videos on social media show the multi-story ferry, El Almirante, sinking as recreational boats rushed to the scene to pull victims from the vessel.

Survivors told local media the boat appeared to be overloaded and before it went down they heard a loud crunching sound and many of the passengers were not provided with life vests.

The Guatapé reservoir surrounding the outcrop of El Penol is one a popular weekend destinations located a little more than an hour from Medellin. It was especially busy Sunday as Colombians celebrated a long holiday weekend.

2017.06.26 / 12:19
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