A shocking moment: a Brazilian cliff collapsed on two tourist boats near a popular sightseeing area, killing at least seven people, seriously injuring nine, and missing three.
- A section of a Brazilian ravine has fallen over two tourist boats and sent flying wreckage to other ships at a popular tourist site in Saturday
- At least seven were killed, nine were seriously injured, and three others are missing
- Officials said at least 32 people have been taken to hospital while emergency responders search for the missing
- The authorities had issued a warning to stay away from the waterfalls in the area after heavy rain fell on the slopes
At least seven people were killed and nine others seriously injured after a section of a ravine collapsed on top of two boats carrying tourists in a popular sightseeing area in southeastern Brazil.
Authorities said three people were still missing after others feared they would find a location by phone.
The avalanche occurred near a picturesque waterfall in a valley located near the popular tourist village of Capitolio, southeast Brazil, on Saturday.
The dramatic footage captured the moment when a huge sliver of rock wall broke off from the canyon and began to slowly fall forward over two tourist boats.
The screams of the passengers could be heard as the cliff crashed directly onto one of the boats, swallowing the other ship nearby and sending waves and flying wrecks onto the other ships cruising in the area.
Authorities said at least 32 people had been taken to hospital, and nine were still recovering from serious injuries.
People who were taken to hospital in the accident had broken bones, and one of them was in serious condition in hospital with head and face injuries.
Shocking video of the moment the cliff fell on two tourist boats
The accident engulfed the two cruise ships and wreckage flew onto other nearby boats
Videos from other boats revealed that cruise ships were anxious about the cliff and urging other boats to turn away moments before the tragedy.
The occupants could be heard screaming for others to get away, with their pleading increasing as the rocks began to crack and fall away from the cliff.
Rofelson Teixeira, an experienced boat operator, told the local press that he expects to find more victims. He added that he had never seen anything like this before in the area.
We were all stunned, no one knows the number of casualties, but I can already say that it was not just one or two deaths, but many deaths. There are many wounded.
“The place is full of ambulances from all over the area that came to deal with the victims, but no one can yet handle the scale of this tragedy.”
The avalanche, described as “domino-like,” is believed to have been caused by torrential rain. Authorities had warned locals earlier that day to avoid the waterfalls in the area, which may have been exposed to large amounts of water.
The area had been subjected to heavy rain for two weeks, which could have loosened the rocks. On Saturday, a dam at an iron ore mine 180 miles to the east overflowed, cutting off a major federal highway.
Tourists’ boats were heard warning each other of the dangers on the cliff as the rocks began to fall. Two ships were still close to the cliff when it went down
The Minas Gerais Fire Department is out to help with rescue efforts on Saturday
The collapse occurred near a picturesque waterfall while the tour boats were making their way
Lt. Pedro Ihara, a spokesman for the local fire department, said rockslide in the area is normal — but not on this scale or path.
“Usually a piece of rock slips out of place,” he told news portal UOL. “This time, the structure fell like dominoes and what hit the people was the top, in a vertical path.”
According to local reports, among the victims who are still in hospital, two have exposed fractures, four have minor injuries and three are in serious condition.
The Brazilian Navy has opened an investigation into the cause of the tragedy.