Colombia boat wreck death toll lowered to six

Colombia boat wreck death toll lowered to six

On Tuesday the number of people missing was down to 13.

Later, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, told the media that 122 people had been rescued, six had died and another 31 were missing.

Daniel Giraldo, owner of an Italian restaurant in Guatape, said he went to the bay after hearing the sound of ambulances.

One survivor, Ms Laura Baquero, said on Colombian television that the two lower decks were “too crowded” and the passengers were not wearing life jackets. All we could do was scream and call for help, it was completely chaotic’.

As water flooded on board, pressure built and people were sucked under by the sinking ship.

Passengers are seen onboard the tourist boat Almirante in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia. “I think in just 20 seconds the boat had sunk, leaving only the upper deck visible, so everything went very fast”.

The Colombian Air Force, Army, firefighters and divers combed the waters of a man-made lake in the resort town of Guatape on Monday, looking for survivors after a tourist boat sank the day before.

The death toll climbed to seven with 13 people unaccounted for and 154 confirmed to have survived, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit said.

Margarita Moncada, the head of the disaster response agency in Antioquia state, said that almost 99 people have been rescued, while others managed to reach the shore on their own.

The Colombian leader said that, based on information provided to him, the boat wasn’t overcrowded.

“The area is a bit hard to reach and various rescue and emergency teams have started joining in”, he said on Blu Radio.

“What makes you angry is there are no controls by the government”, he said.

The accident happened for reasons unknown in the El Penol reservoir in the northwest tourist town of Guatape.

Rescue divers are searching for bodies after a passenger boat sank near Medellin, Colombia Sunday.