41 dead in two Brazil boat wrecks

AFP , Thursday 24 Aug 2017

The body of one of the victims of a boat wreck, after a ferry sank off the northeastern state of Bahia, is loaded at the Maritime Terminal of Salvador, Bahia State, on August 24, 2017. The boat Cavalo Marinho I, with 129 passengers on board, wrecked after casting off from Itaparica island leaving so far 22 bodies collected in the area of the accident. The death tolls from two separate ferry wrecks in Brazil surged on Thursday, with 41 people killed overall.(photo:AFP)

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.

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.

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