By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
CAPITOLIO (Worthy News) – Screams reverberated throughout a scenic canyon in southern Brazil Saturday as a giant rock dislodged and smashed into three boats, killing at least six people, with many more still missing.
Video footage seen by Worthy News showed boaters screaming as they watched a large slab of rockfall from a canyon onto boats cruising the lake near Capitolio, a city in Minas Gerais state.
Authorities said besides the six people killed, there were nine tourists with injuries following Saturday’s tragedy.
At least one person was in serious condition with head and facial injuries, while others had broken bones, news reports said.
There were fears the death toll would rise as some 20 persons remained missing, authorities said.
Two of the boats were directly hit by the falling stone, but authorities were reportedly able to rescue 24 people from those vessels.
Footage showed firefighters involved in a daring rescue operation after the rock wall broke from a cliff falling onto tourist boats.
The governor of Minas Gerais state said the accident was likely caused by heavy rains in the area that dislodged the rocks.
“We are suffering the pain of a tragedy in our state due to heavy rains that provoked the accident in the Furnas lake. Rescue workers are still on the scene, ” said Minas Gerais governor Romeu Zema. “We are in solidarity with the families at this difficult moment.”
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said it was crucial “to comfort the families who are waiting for bodies to show up. This is something we can do with the Navy and the Fire Department in Minas Gerais.”
Authorities said they had issued warnings for tourists to stay away from waterfalls in the area just hours before the accident. Still, it was unclear whether the victims had received that information.
The Brazilian Navy said they are opening an investigation into the accident.
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