10 dead after cliff collapses on tourist boats in Brazil

At least four tourist boats were caught in the collapse, authorities say.

January 09, 2022, 3:27 PM

At least 10 people are dead and two remain hospitalized after a slab of a cliff broke off Saturday afternoon and crashed down onto four tourist boats in a lake in Brazil, officials said.

The incident took place at Lake Furnas, a popular tourist spot roughly 260 miles north of Sao Paulo, around 12:30 p.m., according to the Minas Gerais state fire department. The Brazilian Navy and local firefighters were deployed to the scene to help the victims.

PHOTO: Firefighters at the scene of a rescue operation after a wall of rock broke from a cliff falling onto several tourist boats at the canyons of Furnas Lake, city of Capitolio, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2022.
Firefighters at the scene of a rescue operation after a wall of rock broke from a cliff falling onto several tourist boats at the canyons of Furnas Lake, city of Capitolio, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2022.
Minas Gerais Fire Department/AFP via Getty Images

One of the deceased victims has been identified as 68-year-old Julio Borges Antunes, according to the Minas Gerais Fire department. The names of the other victims have not been released.

Officials said all of the tourists on the boats were Brazilians.

Officials on Saturday evening had said 20 people were missing and 32 were hospitalized.

Romeu Zema, the governor of Minas Gerais, tweeted updates on the incident during the afternoon and said heavy rains were a factor in the cliff collapse. The rescue efforts were ongoing, Zema tweeted.

PHOTO: Firefighters at the scene of a rescue operation after a wall of rock broke from a cliff falling onto several tourist boats at the canyons of Furnas Lake, city of Capitolio, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2022.
Firefighters at the scene of a rescue operation after a wall of rock broke from a cliff falling onto several tourist boats at the canyons of Furnas Lake, city of Capitolio, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2022.
Minas Gerais Fire Department/AFP via Getty Images

"I sympathize with the families during this difficult time," he tweeted in Portuguese.

The Brazilian Navy is overseeing the investigation into what caused the collapse, according to authorities.

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