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Colombia boat sinking 'not due to overloading'

Colombia boat sinking 'not due to overloading'”

Gen. Jorge Nieto, the head of Colombia's police, said three people had died and approximately 30 people were missing. "Within, I think, probably about 20 seconds the boat had sort of sunk with just the top deck visible".

The El Almirante, which was carrying more than 170 people, got into trouble in the Guatape-El Penol reservoir, a popular tourist resort.

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.

Those rescued by the emergency services said that all the passengers in the boat were able to don their life vests. Authorities are still not sure what caused the boat to sink: over-crowding, mechanical issues or shifting currents. "All we could do was scream and call for help.it was completely chaotic".

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.

Colombian rescue workers and scuba divers are continuing the search.

Officials initially reported nine people dead and 28 missing, but Moncada said some survivors rescued by private boats were taken to different docks on the reservoir shore and so were not immediately accounted for.

Some survivors and people who witnessed the tragedy unfold from the nearby shore said the boat appeared to be overloaded.

"Nobody really knows what happened", he said, according to BuzzFeed. It was especially busy on Sunday as Colombians celebrated a long holiday weekend. The Antioquia regional government said on Twitter that 24 people caught in the wreck were being treated in hospital. Among those huddled under the rain near the port looking for information about loved ones was Alberto Villegas, who was separated from a cousin and uncle in the mad rush to abandon the sinking ship.



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