Twelve killed, dozens missing as boat sinks in Amazon

May 5th, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by admin  

Rio de Janeiro, May 5 (IANS) At least 12 people have been killed and dozens are missing after an overcrowded boat sank in the Amazon River in northwestern Brazil, emergency service officials said. The boat with nearly 80 people aboard sank at around 5 a.m. Sunday off the town of Manacapuru, some 50 km west of Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas province, the officials said, adding that rescue workers found the bodies of 10 women and two men from the river, EFE news agency reported Monday.

The fire department sent 12 divers to search for the missing occupants of the vessel, while the state police marine patrol dispatched two boats to assist in rescue and recovery efforts.

The cause of the accident was not yet known. But reports said the boat, which had a capacity of 50 people, was overcrowded. It was returning to Manacapuru from Lago do Pesqueiro.

According to navy officials, the river is about 100 metres deep at the site where the boat sank.

This was the second accident in the state in just over two months. In February, eight people were killed when a boat went down on a stretch of the Amazan near Itacotiara, some 270 km from Manaus.

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