Guatape: At least six people were killed and 31 missing after a tourist boat sank in a warehouse in northwest Colombia, the president said on Sunday.
Authorities do not tell what led the Admirals four floors further down the reservoir of El Peñol in the tourist town of Guatapé, where domestic and foreign tourists spend pleasure cruises.
There are “six dead so far and 31 people missing,” Santos told reporters in Guatape, after the regional government has already given at least nine deaths.
An official of the national risk management unit, Carlos Ivan Marquez, confirmed the number of six separate AFPs. He said they were “all Colombians, no less.”
Regional officials said the ship carried 170 people, most of whom were rescued by other ships or escaped on their own.
“It sank very quickly,” he said. “It all happened in a matter of minutes,” said a fire department captain involved in the rescue efforts, Luis Bernardo Morales.
An army air force helicopter and two were aided in rescue operations, the army said.
The deposit is 68 kilometers (40 miles) from the city of Medellín and is one of the main tourist attractions of the department of Antioquia.
One woman who survived Laura Baquero said on television that the two lower decks were “too full” and that passengers were not wearing life jackets.
“We started to feel like the overturning of the ship,” he said.
She said there were “many children” on board.
Santos said he had been informed that “the ship had a capacity greater than the number of people on board, so it was not due to an overload” that sank.
He said naval experts had come to investigate the cause and divers continued to search for people throughout the night.
The regional government of Antioquia said on Twitter that 24 people trapped among the remains were treated at the hospital.
The video that circulates on social networks showed that the ship sank, and other dozens of ships approached to try to save people.
“What we have seen in the videos is that the ship was very close to the port … and we do not know if it was a mechanical failure, overload or something to do with the currents of the has been written,” said Morales, the captain of firefighters.
He said that the rescue teams were struggling to reach the road deposit due to heavy traffic on the Medellin-Bogota highway.
Guatape meets tourists during long weekends like this, because Monday is a British festival.
Visitors come for one or two hour cruises at the depot for fishing and water skiing.
The National Fire Service said it would send firefighters from six cities to help.
The mayor of Medellín, Federico Gutierrez, said he was sending a team led by a crew captain and five divers.
The mayor of Guatapé declared three days of mourning.
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