Photo taken by the emergency services after the fall of a section of cliff on boats navigating in the canyon of the tourist lake Furnas, State of Minas Gerais, January 8, 2022
The fall of a section of cliff on boats sailing in a very touristy lake in the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, left at least five dead and 20 missing on Saturday, we learned. with firefighters.
“At this stage, there are five confirmed deaths” and “it is estimated that there are 20 missing people” in addition to the 32 injured, said during a press briefing Colonel Edgard Estevo da Silva, commander of the Minas fire department. Gerais.
At midday, a large fragment of rock broke away from its wall and fell on three boats sailing on Furnas Lake, a site popular for its green waters and spectacular parade of rock walls.
In dramatic footage shared on social media, the exact moment the rock mass detached and fell on the three boats could be seen, causing panic among passengers watching the scene on other boats.
On other recordings, just before the tragedy, we see people issuing warnings saying “a lot of stones are falling” and calling on the occupants of the boats to move away from the wall.
Among the injured, nine were hospitalized, according to the firefighters who intervened on the spot with various equipment and a brigade of divers. The search was to stop at night for security reasons and resume the next day.
The number of missing persons was estimated on the basis of “testimonies, tourist agencies and relatives,” said Colonel Estevo.
The intense rains that have fallen in recent days in southeastern Brazil have favored the accident, according to firefighters.
The Capitolio region, 300 kilometers from the capital Belo Horizonte, attracts many tourists with its rock faces, its canyon and waterfalls encasing Lake Furnas formed by a hydroelectric reservoir of the same name.