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41 dead in two Brazil boat wrecks: Officials

The death toll from two separate ferry wrecks in Brazil surged on Thursday, with 41 people killed overall, according to authorities.

world Updated: Aug 24, 2017 21:24 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Sao Paulo
Brazil,Boat Wreck,Amazon basin
People surround the boat "Comandante Ribeiro" that sank while carrying 70 people during a search and rescue mission in the Xingu River, Para state, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.(AP)

The death toll from two separate ferry wrecks in Brazil surged on Thursday, with 41 people killed overall, according to authorities.

The public safety department in north-central Para state said 19 people were confirmed dead so far after a boat sank on the Xingu river late Tuesday.

That vessel, the Capitan Ribeiro, had 49 people on board, of whom 23 were rescued and seven remained missing, the department said in a statement.

Separately, the navy said 22 people died when a ferry sank early Thursday off the northeastern state of Bahia.

That boat had 133 people on board, of which at least 21 had been rescued, naval commander Flavio Almeida told AFP.

The vessel was running the short route from the island of Itaparica across the bay to the city of Salvador, capital of Bahia state, when it went down.

There was no immediate information about the causes of the two sinkings.

Newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said the boat in Para, in a northern Amazon region, may have been caught in a storm.

Residents join in the search and rescue mission for the passengers of the "Comandante Ribeiro" that sank the night before, in the Brazilian state of Para, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (AP)

The vessel in the fatal incident in Para had left the port of Santarem bound for Vitoria de Xingu.

Ferries, fishing vessels and big commercial ships ply the Amazon waterways as one of the main forms of transport in a region with relatively few roads.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 09:18 IST