At least 10 dead in Amazon river shipwreck

February 22nd, 2008 - 2:29 pm ICT by admin  

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 22 (DPA) At least 10 people died and 10 were missing after a ship carrying more than 100 people capsized in the Amazon river in northern Brazil, the fire department said. Four children and four women were among the dead, while 92 people were rescued, according to the port authority officials.

The ship Almirante Monteiro went down early Thursday near the town of Itacoatiara, some 270 km from the Amazonas state capital Manaus, after crashing with a ferry.

Colonel Antonio Dias, commander of the Manaus Ports Authority, said that 92 occupants of the ship were rescued by a police boat.

“Fortunately, a civilian police boat was passing by the area and managed to pull most of the victims out of the water. I think that, if it had not been for that, there would have been a catastrophe,” he said.

Dias said the ship, which had a capacity of 165 passengers, left the town of Alenquer, in the state of Para, with 70 passengers and a crew of 12 late Wednesday and was headed for Manaus.

Along the way, many more passengers embarked, and the authorities estimate it was carrying at least 110 people when it capsized.

A dozen members of the fire department and 10 Navy divers were involved in rescue efforts, supported by a boat, a speedboat and a helicopter.

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