BOGOTA, Colombia (CBSMiami/AP) — Nine people are dead and around 28 missing after a multi-story tourist boat capsized near the city of Medellin, the head of the disaster response agency in Colombia’s Antioquia state said Sunday.
Margarita Moncada said that 99 people were rescued immediately and another 40 managed to find shore on their own and were in good health.
A rescue operation was underway in the Guatape reservoir where the accident took place on Sunday. Medellin’s mayor said firefighters and scuba divers were heading to the town.
A flotilla of recreational boats rushed to the scene to pull people from the vessel.
“We were there when we began to hear shouts, noise, and people began to inform us that on the horizon there was a four-story boat that had gone out with several people,” said witness Lorena Vaquiro. “We began to film and you could see when the boat was sinking, and all you could see was the top story and all the boats that were here started going out to bring the people and they brought people who looked in really bad shape. Of course, the people, due to the desperation, people began to climb onto the other people to be able to get out. So there were a lot of injured people, battered. We saw how they brought out several unconscious people.”
Gen. Jorge Nieto told Blu Radio on Sunday that authorities are still in the process of identifying the victims.
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