9 Dead, 30 Missing In Colombia Tourist Boat Sinking

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Update: At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank for unknown reasons in a reservoir in Colombia Sunday, authorities said, sharply raising an earlier number of deaths.

Bogota: A tourist boat carrying around 150 people has sunk in the Penol reservoir in northwest Colombia, the country’s air force confirmed, saying that a search and rescue operation is under way.

The incident took place at the El Penol de Guatape dam, a popular tourist site, El Universo reported the Colombian Air Force as saying.  The sinking occurred at around 2:00pm local time, close to the embankment of the Penol-Guatape reservoir, Victoria Eugenia Ramirez, Antioquia’s government secretary, said.

Ramirez specified that there was no clash with any other vessel, but the reasons for the incident still remain unclear. Eyewitnesses say passengers were not wearing life vests, so authorities have activated an emergency protocol to rescue the sinking ship.

The rescue operation has been launched with the support of the air force, navy, army and police. The military dispatched a Sikorsky UH-60 helicopter to support the rescue mission.