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Six dead after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

Six dead after tourist boat sinks in Colombia”

A boat carrying as many as 150 tourists capsized in a reservoir near Medellin, Colombia on Sunday, officials from the air force said.

Footage shows the boat violently rocking from side to side on the Penol reservoir in Guatape near the Colombian city of Medellin. A flotilla of recreational boats rushed to the scene to pull people from the vessel.

Boat sunk in Penol reservoir, #Columbia. It also showed the people attempting to crawl down from the fourth-floor roof when the ferry began sinking in the water.

"Those on the first and second decks sank immediately", survivor Lorena Salazar told local media. "All we could do was scream and call for help.it was completely chaotic".

The official said rescued people are being sent to the local hospital in Guatape.

Speaking to reporters from the reservoir, she said nine people had been killed and around 28 were missing, but President Juan Manuel Santos arrived later in Guatape and said 122 people were either rescued or found their way to shore.

At least six people have reportedly died in the incident while 31 people are believed to be missing.

Santos said he had been told "the boat had a capacity greater than the number of people on board, so that it was not due to overloading" that it sank.

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One woman who survived, Laura Baquero, said that the two lower decks were "too crowded" and the passengers were not wearing lifejackets.

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

The large reservoir, about an hour from the central city of Medellin, is one of Antioquia department's main tourist draws.

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

"The situation looks serious", said an official with the Antioquia government.

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

Armario reported from Bogota, Colombia and AP Writer Joshua Goodman contributed to this report from Caracas, Venezuela.

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