RIO DE JANEIRO, RIO DE JANEIRO, RIO DE JANEI Authorities announced Saturday that a cliff collapsed onto boaters on a tourist lake in Brazil, killing at least six people and leaving 20 others missing.
In a statement, Pedro Aihara, a spokesman for the Minas Gerias firefighters, said, “We do have six victims confirmed as deceased so far.”
Another fire department spokesperson, Edgard Estevo da Silva, said late Saturday that “the current estimate is 20 missing individuals” in addition to the 32 injured.
A massive rock piece broke free from a ravine and landed on three boats on weekend trips to Furnas Lake, a tourist attraction in the Capitolio region, about 12 p.m. local time Saturday.
Tourists come to see the rock walls, tunnels, and waterfalls that surround the emerald waters of Lake Furnas, which was created by the same-named hydroelectric dam.
The exact moment when the cliff collapses on the three boats, to the fear of the passengers who view the spectacle from the other boats, can be seen in dramatic videos shared on social media.
A minute before the fall, many people warned that “tonnes of stones are falling” and called at the passengers of the other boats to get away from the wall, according to a video posted on social media.
On his Twitter account, President Jair Bolsonaro reposted some of the footage and stated that “as soon as the sad catastrophe occurred, the Brazilian Navy moved to the spot to rescue victims and remove the injured.”
Diver-assisted searches will be halted tonight for security concerns and restarted in the morning.
According to firemen, considerable rain has fallen in southeastern Brazil in recent days, making the collapse more likely.