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Tourist boat with 150 aboard sinks near Colombian city

Tourist boat with 150 aboard sinks near Colombian city”

Medellin mayor Federico Gutierrez ordered a team of firefighters and scuba divers to help local sailors in the area to assist survivors.

Dramatic videos circulating on social media show the turquoise and yellow trimmed party boat, called El Almirante, rocking back and forth as people crawled down from a fourth-floor roof as it began sinking.

The Colombian air force said helicopters had been dispatched and were ready to evacuate the most seriously injured people.

General Jorge Nieto, the head of Colombia's police, said about 30 people were missing. A flotilla of recreational boats and jet skis rushed to the scene, pulling people from the boat as it went down and avoiding an even deadlier tragedy. But local residents said the boat partially sank three months ago.

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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. He said that six people had died and another 31 were missing. "We can only give information with the authorization of the commander".

The boat, which was carrying more than 200 people, sank into a reservoir for unknown reasons on Sunday.

The accident mobilized Colombia's armed forces, Victoria Eugenia Ramirez, secretary of the government of Antioquia, told media.

The boat sank Sunday near the popular tourist town of Guatape, roughly 45 km (28 miles) east of Medellin, one of Colombia's biggest cities.

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