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Boat Accident in NE Brazil Kills at Least 22

  • Associated Press

In this photo released by Brazil's Secretary of Social Communication, rescue workers carry a body recovered from the Xingu River, in Porto de Moz, in Para state, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, during a search mission for the passengers of the "Comandante Ribeiro" that sank on late Tuesday. The public security office of the state of Para said 15 people made it to the shore and at least 19 bodies were recovered, while the rest were unaccounted for.

A passenger boat carrying more than 100 people sunk in a bay in northeastern Brazil on Thursday, killing at least 22 and leaving dozens more missing.

Navy Lt. Col. Flavio Almeida told The Associated Press that the vessel went down on the Bay of All Saints in the city of Salvador.

Almeida said 21 people were rescued by naval teams, and private boats also rushed to the scene and helped an unknown number of survivors.

Globo News showed rescuers pulling people from the bay and anxious family members waiting for news in the terminal where the boat was expected.

In a statement the Bahia state health department said 34 people were being treated for injuries. An unconscious 1-year-old who initially responded to resuscitation efforts died in an ambulance en route to a hospital, it added.

Survivor Edvaldo Santos de Almeida told the G1 news portal that a large wave tipped the boat during a heavy rainstorm.

“There were a lot of people” on board, he said. “It took a long time to be rescued. We were in the water for two hours.”

Salvador, one of Brazil’s most famous cities, is located on a peninsula near a handful of islands. Each day thousands of workers, students and other people commute on boats between the city and the islands.

The vessel was traveling between Vera Cruz on Itaparica Island and Salvador, about an 8-mile (13-kilometer) stretch.

The accident took place a day after a passenger boat carrying more than 70 people sank on a major river in the northern state of Para, leaving at least 19 dead.

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