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Dozens of tourists missing after boat sinks in Colombia

Dozens of tourists missing after boat sinks in Colombia”

Officials did not say what caused the four-deck Almirante to go down in the El Penol reservoir in the tourist town of Guatape, where Colombian and foreign tourists take leisure cruises.

Realising what's happening, a man on a jet-ski dashes over to help as other boats race to the scene to aid tourists.

Survivors claim they heard a loud noise before the boat began to go down. It also showed the people attempting to crawl down from the fourth-floor roof when the ferry began sinking in the water.

Margarita Moncada, the head of the disaster response agency in Antioquia state, said that according to a preliminary report 99 people were rescued and another 40 managed to find a way to shore on their own.

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

In the absence of a passenger list, authorities have been relying on family numbers and survivors to report their whereabouts.

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President Juan Manuel Santos and the mayor of Medellin said emergency services, scuba divers and the air force were involved in a major rescue operation.

Laura Baquero, who survived the accident, told television crews that the two lower decks were "too crowded" and the passengers were not wearing lifejackets.

It was a long holiday weekend in Colombia and the El Almirante ferry was filled with tourists.

"What makes you angry is there are no controls by the government", he said.

"All we ask is that they don't give up the search", said Villegas.



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