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Tourist boat carrying 150 people sinks on Colombia reservoir

Tourist boat carrying 150 people sinks on Colombia reservoir”

Medellin's mayor Federico Gutierrez said he was sending a team led by a firefighting crew captain and five scuba divers.

Colombia's National Police Chief, Jorge Hernando Nieto, told a local radio station that at least 28 people are still missing.

Eyewitness Louisa Murphy told BBC: "We saw things flying off the side of the boat".

Survivors on local television reports said that they heard a loud noise before the boat began to sink and that not all of them had life vests.

It is not yet clear whether there have been any casualties or where the tourists were from, but videos on social media suggest that a recreational ferry has sunk in the reservoir. He said another 122 people, of the 160 on board, were either rescued or were able to make it to the shore. Ninety-nine people were rescued, Margarita Moncada, the head of disaster relief for Antioquia province, told journalists.

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Some people who witnessed the tragedy from the shore said the boat appeared to be overloaded but Mr Santos said it was sailing well below capacity. Complicating the search, there wasn't even a passenger list.

Santos said there are "six people deceased so far and 31 reported missing", after the regional government earlier gave a death toll of at least nine.

The reservoir surrounding the soaring rocky outcrop of El Penol is a popular weekend destination a little more than an hour from Medellin.

He added that they paid 11,000 pesos about NZ$4.99 per person to board the ship and take a Sunday tour around the reservoir, part of a long weekend as Monday is a holiday in Colombia.

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