Colombia: Nine Dead and 28 Missing After Boat Sinks

Authorities have confirmed that at least nine people have lost their lives after a tourist boat sank near the city of Medellin. The boat was carrying about 150 people when it sank in a reservoir.

Colombia’s National Police Chief, Jorge Hernando Nieto, told a local radio station that at least 28 people are still missing. Authorities have not confirmed how many were injured during the accident but some of the people were taken to nearby hospitals.

Video Taken By Other Vessel

Vessels nearby rushed to the area as the boat, which was reportedly over capacity, sank. One video shows vessels getting close to the boat as people climb to the top. The boat can be seen sinking slowly but then it starts to sink faster. Passengers are seen getting on other vessels and jumping to the water. Authorities dispatched helicopters to evacuate the passengers that were seriously injured. According to witnesses who spoke to the El Tiempo newspaper, the boat broke in two parts and they were told by the captain to move to one of the sides. Rescue crews were sent to the area shortly after the accident.

Residents Say Boat Sunk Recently

Two residents told Blu Radio that the same boat had problems before the accident today. They said that the boat had actually sunk a few months ago at the dock. The boat did not sink completely and was fixed, according to the residents.

The boat was reportedly over capacity at the time, with about 150 people. A rescue official confirmed the death toll. At least 28 other passengers have been reported missing. The Colombian Air Force tweeted after the accident that it was helping on the rescue operation. A few of the passengers have told local media that they were not given life vests when they got on the boat.