Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

A column of rock crashes into recreational boats in Lake Furnas, killing seven and injuring at least 32 people.

At least seven people were killed and nine were seriously injured when a rock wall on boats carrying tourists on a lake in southeastern Brazil collapsed.

Videos of Saturday’s incident show tourists screaming as a pillar of rock collapses, smashing several recreational boats and sending a huge wave across the lake at Capitolio in the state of Minas Gerais.

Rescue crews, including a diving team and members of the Brazilian navy, rushed to Lake Furnas.

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

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

The people injured in the accident broke legs and one was in a serious condition in hospital with head and face injuries.

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

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

Officials suggested that the rock wall that came loose was related to heavy rains recently that caused flooding in the state and forced nearly 17,000 people out of their homes.

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

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