Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

30 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

30 missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia

Authorities confirmed Sunday at least three people are dead after a tourist boat sunk in a reservoir near the city of Guatapé in northwestern Colombia.

A statement from the Colombian air force said that a helicopter was on the way to the Penol reservoir near the town of Guatape, which is approximately 45km east of Colombia's second largest city of Medellin.

Videos on social media showed the party boat rocking back and forth just before it overturned.

The injured were being taken to a hospital in the town of Guatape, as rescue workers continued to search for the missing passengers.

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Youths who survived the capsizing of a ferry wait for more information about their missing friends and relatives, at a reservoir in Guatape, Colombia, Sunday, June 25, 2017. As water flooded on board, pressure built and people were sucked under by the sinking ship.

Moncada said that 99 people were rescued immediately and another 40 managed to find shore on their own and were in good health.

Some people who witnessed the tragedy from the nearby shore said the boat appeared to be overloaded but Santos said it was sailing well below capacity.

Officials have not yet said what caused the accident in the northwest of the country.

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Survivors told local media the boat appeared to be overloaded and before it went down they heard a loud crunching sound and numerous passengers were not provided with life vests.

"The situation looks serious", said an official with the Antioquia government. They also made a call for scuba divers to assist with the search.

The Guatapé reservoir surrounding the outcrop of El Penol is one a popular weekend destinations located a little more than an hour from Medellin.

It was a long holiday weekend in Colombia and the El Almirante ferry was filled with tourists.

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"All we ask is that they don't give up the search", said Villegas.

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