Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ferry sinks in Amazon collision

From the BBC
BBC map
At least three people have been killed and 20 are reported missing after a ferry sank as a result of a collision with a barge on the Brazilian Amazon.

They collided during the night near Itacoatiara in the jungle state of Amazonas, and most victims seem to have been trapped in cabins on the ferry.

More than 100 people were aboard the ferry at the time, local sources say.

A rescue official said the chances of finding any of the 20 people missing alive were remote.

A navy vessel and a helicopter are being used to help in the search operation.

Lunar eclipse

State fire spokesman Lt Clovis Araujo said a nearby floating police station and a number of small boats had rescued 92 people from the ferry, the Almirante Monteiro.

There were no reports of damage or casualties aboard the heavy goods barge, he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The confirmed dead, he added, were a woman and two children.

State public safety department spokesman Aguinaldo Rodrigues said that nearly all the survivors appeared to be passengers sleeping in hammocks on the ferry's deck.

While it was too early to establish the cause of the collision, he added, visibility had been "very poor" during the lunar eclipse which began on Wednesday night.

The collision happened on an isolated stretch of the river.

The ferry had a capacity of 165 passengers but was not full at the time of the accident.

An inquiry will now be launched to try to establish the cause of the collision and an initial report is expected within 90 days.



© blogger templates 3 column | Tech Blog