Brazilian canyon collapses on boats, killing at least seven people, injuring 32 and leaving three missing

Shocking moment Brazilian cliff collapses on two tourist boats near popular tourist spot, killing at least seven, seriously injuring nine and leaving three missing

  • Part of a Brazilian canyon fell on two tourist boats and sent debris flying towards other ships at a popular tourist spot on Saturday
  • At least seven were killed, nine were seriously injured and three others are missing
  • Officials said at least 32 people were taken to hospital as rescuers searched for the missing
  • Authorities had issued a warning to stay away from area waterfalls after heavy rainfall left cliffs vulnerable

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At least seven people have died and nine have been seriously injured after part of a canyon collapsed on top of two boats carrying tourists at a popular tourist site in southeast Brazil.

Authorities said three people were still missing after others feared they were lost were located over the phone. Divers searched the lake.

The collapse took place on Saturday near a picturesque waterfall in a canyon near the popular tourist village of Capitolio in southeastern Brazil.

Dramatic footage captured the moment a huge slice of the rock face breaks away from the canyon and begins to slowly fall forward onto two tourist boats.

Passengers can be heard screaming as the cliff crashes directly into one of the boats, engulfing the other nearby ship and sending waves and debris to other ships circling the area.

Authorities said at least 32 people were taken to hospital and nine are still recovering from serious injuries.

Those hospitalized in the crash had broken bones and one was in serious condition in hospital with head and face injuries.

The rock fell on two tourist boats

Shocking video captured as the cliff fell on two tourist boats

The crash engulfed the two tourist ships and sent debris flying towards other nearby boats

The crash engulfed the two tourist ships and sent debris flying towards other nearby boats

A video of other boats revealed that the tourist ships were worried about the cliff and urged the other boats to move away moments before the tragedy.

The passengers could be heard screaming for the others to get away, their pleas growing as the rocks began to chip and fall off the cliff.

Rovilson Teixeira, an experienced boat operator, told local press he expects more victims to be found. He added that he had never seen anything like it before in the area.

“We are all stunned, no one knows how many casualties, but I can already say that there were not just one or two deaths, but a lot of deaths. There are a lot of injured people.

“The place is full of ambulances from all over the region who have come to take care of the victims, but no one can yet measure the scale of this tragedy.”

The collapse, described as “like a domino”, was said to have been caused by excessive rain. Authorities had warned residents earlier today to avoid waterfalls in the area, which may have been vulnerable to large volumes of water.

The area has been under heavy rain for two weeks, which may have loosened the rock face. On Saturday, a dike overflowed into an iron ore mine 300 kilometers east, cutting off a major federal highway.

Tourist boats were heard warning each other of the cliff's dangers as rocks began to fall.  Two ships were still near the cliff when it fell

Tourist boats were heard warning each other of the cliff’s dangers as rocks began to fall. Two ships were still near the cliff when it fell

Minas Gerais Fire Department heads to help with rescue efforts on Saturday

Minas Gerais Fire Department heads to help with rescue efforts on Saturday

The collapse took place near a picturesque waterfall as tourist boats crossed

The collapse took place near a picturesque waterfall as tourist boats crossed

Lt. Pedro Aihara, spokesman for the local fire department, said rock collapses in the area were normal – but not on this scale or on this trajectory.

“Normally, the piece of rock slides from where it is,” he told the UOL news portal. “This time the structure fell like a domino and what hit people was the top, in a perpendicular trajectory.”

According to local reports, of the victims still hospitalized, two have apparent fractures, four have minor injuries and three are in serious condition.

The Brazilian Navy has opened an investigation into the causes of the tragedy.

About Linda Jennings

Linda Jennings

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