Brasília, Brazil: The death toll in an accident after a cliff crashed on pleasure boats on a Brazilian lake has risen to 10. The police gave this information on Sunday. Officials worked to identify the dead and divers were searching the lake in case there was an overdose.
Police Chief Marcos Pimenta said there was a possibility that some people went missing after the accident in Minas Gerais state on Saturday. At least 32 people were injured, though most were discharged from hospitals by Saturday evening.
The accident took place between the cities of So Jose da Barra and Capitolio, from where the boats had departed. Video images showed a group of small boats moving slowly near a sheer cliff cliff on Lake Furnas, when a crack appeared in the rock and a huge piece fell on several ships.
The bodies were taken to the city of Passos, where coroners worked to identify them. A regional civilian police officer, Marcos Pimenta, said the work was difficult because of the “high-energy impact” of the reef on the sailors. He said one of the victims was identified as 68-year-old Julio Borges Antunes.
Furnace Lake, created in 1958 to house a hydroelectric plant, is a popular tourist attraction in an area about 420 kilometers (260 mi) north of So Paulo.
Officials suggested that the loosening of the wall could be related to the recent heavy rains that flooded the state and forced nearly 17,000 people to move out of their homes.
The head of the Brazilian Geological Service’s Applied Geology Division, Tiago Antonelli, said the rock wall has been susceptible to centuries of erosion and rain, heat and cold.
“It is normal for this to happen in many valleys, even with rocks of that size. But nowadays, with the intensification of tourism, people are starting to come closer to these places and register these events with their cell phones. for,” Antonelli said.
Joanna Sánchez, a professor of geology at the Federal University of Goiás, said authorities should have controlled the site to prevent accidents, especially during the rainy season. Boats should have been kept at least one kilometer (0.6 mi) away from the waterfall where the accident occurred, he said.
Videojournalist Marcos Limonti and photographer Igor do Valle contributed to this report from Capitolio, Brazil.