Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Number Of Dead In Brazilian Boat Accident Rises To 26

The number of dead in a boat accident in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Amapa rose to 26 on Tuesday, with 20 people still missing, authorities said. The unlicensed ship, Comandante Sales, floundered and partially sank in the Solimoes River near the town of Manacapuru, some 80 kilometres from state capital Manaus. An estimated 110 passengers were travelling on the boat at the time of the accident, based on the accounts of survivors. Some 100 Navy, Civil Defence and Fire Department officers continued Tuesday to look for victims.
Rescue workers search the capsized Comandante Sales boat in the Solimoes River.
The shipwreck occurred some 20 minutes after the boat left Lago del Pesquero, where many of the passengers had taken part in a religious celebration. Many of the passengers were able to swim to the riverbank. Another boat immediately went to the aid of the passengers, and Fire Department forces later succeeded in getting the ship righted and anchoring it on the riverbank. The Navy Command said in a statement that the ship had not been unauthorized to leave port since January, because it lacked the necessary documents and its crew lacked required training. Authorities had launched an investigation into the causes of the accident.

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