Wall of rock collapses on Brazil’s Furnas lake, kills seven

TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – At least seven people have died and nine were seriously injured when a wall of rock collapsed on to boats carrying tourists on a lake in southeastern Brazil.

Videos of Saturday’s incident showed tourists shouting as a column of rock came crashing down, smashing several leisure boats and sending a huge wave over the lake at Capitolio in Minas Gerais state.

Rescue teams including a dive squad and members of the Brazilian Navy rushed to Furnas Lake, Aljazeera reported.

The latest official toll is “seven dead and three missing”, said Pedro Aihara, spokesman for Minas Gerais firefighters.

Another 32 were wounded, including nine who had to be hospitalized, authorities said.

The people hurt in the accident had broken bones and one was in serious condition in hospital with head and facial injuries.

Furnas Lake, which was created in 1958 for the installation of a hydroelectric plant, is a popular tourist attraction in the area roughly 420 kilometers (260 miles) north of Sao Paulo.

Officials in Capitolio, which has about 8,400 residents, say the town can see around 5,000 visitors on a weekend, and up to 30,000 on holidays.

Officials suggested the rock face coming loose could have been related to heavy rains recently that caused flooding in the state and forced almost 17,000 people out of their homes.

On Saturday, a dike overflowed at an iron ore mine 300 kilometers to the east, cutting off a major federal highway.

RHM/PR

News Code 182673

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