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15 July 2024

Death toll rises to 16 in Brazil ferryboat wreck

By Agencies


Search crews plucked the bodies of two more victims of a ferryboat wreck from the Amazon River, Brazilian media reported, raising to 16 the number of dead after the vessel collided with a barge and sank.

The Almirante Monteiro, a two-story wooden ferry carrying more than 100 people, sank before dawn Thursday near the isolated town of Itacoatiara in the jungle state of Amazonas. Ninety-two people were rescued.

Officials say many of the dead were asleep in cabins inside the vessel and were unable to get out before it sank, while passengers in hammocks on the deck fared better.

Search teams had previously recovered 14 bodies, and two more victims were found Saturday, according to several news outlets including the website of the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. As many as four people may still be missing, Folha said.

Authorities say they have conflicting reports of how many people were on board. A precise number may be impossible to determine because river ferries act like buses along the Amazon, constantly stopping to take passengers on or drop them off.

An investigation into the cause of the collision will take about three months, according to a report from G1, the website of Globo TV. (AP)