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41 people drown in 2 Brazil ferry wrecks

41 people drown in 2 Brazil ferry wrecks

Brasilia: At least 41 persons were killed in two fatal ferry wrecks in Brazil, the media reported on Friday.

“We deeply regret the loss of tens of lives in the boat accidents in Para and Bahia (two states in the north of the country),” President Michel Temer tweeted on Thursday.

The latest maritime incident occurred on Thursday near Salvador, the capital of Brazil‘s eastern state of Bahia, when a ship carrying about 116 passengers and four crew members capsized shortly after its departure.

A total of 18 people were drowned, and 89 were rescued, Bahia’s Health Secretariat said.

The death toll has been revised down to 18 from the initial report of 22 as rescue operation went on.

Some passengers swam to shore and others were picked up, said the navy.

Three rescue teams were dispatched to the site before fire department personnel joined the operation.

More than 30 people were being treated for injuries, a health department statement said.

The state has declared three days of mourning following the tragedy.

“I have been personally following this operation from an early stage and all measures have been taken immediately,” Governor Rui Costa said.

The accident occurred two days after 21 persons died when a tour boat sank on the Xingu river in Para state on Tuesday.

Twenty-three people were rescued and five went missing, said the state’s Secretariat of Public Security.

The vessel’s captain said only 49 people were on board when it sank, though initial reports said it carried as many as 70 passengers.

The cause of the sinking remains unknown.

Survivors said it was raining and a gale tipped the boat over. Military personnel were still engaged in rescue efforts.

The capsized vessel was not legally authorised to transport passengers, officials said.

Accidents are frequent as a lot of precarious boats are overloaded with passengers on rivers in the Amazon basin. The most common means of transportation in the region depends on waterway.

—IANS