Two separate boats that capsized in Brazil have led to the deaths of at least 41 people, according to authorities. One in the northern state of Pará and the other in Bahia, a state in Brazil’s northeast.
Some 22 people were confirmed dead by the Brazilian Navy after a ferry sank Thursday morning in Bahia. Naval commander Flavio Almeida told AFP that there were 133 passengers, with at least 21 people rescued so far.
The vessel was running a short route from the island of Itaparica across the bay to the city of Salvador, capital of Bahia state when it went down.
The Captain Ribeiro with approximately 49 passengers onboard sank while traveling along the Xingu River in Pará, Tuesday night.
Among the 19 dead are children under 18 years old according to the State Secretary for Public Security and Social Defense, who said 23 had been rescued and seven were still missing.
It’s suspected that a thunderstorm caused the ship to sink in an area known as Ponta Grande in Marua Village. The local fire department organized rescue operations, which includes a team of divers, to recover missing passengers.
The boat set sail from the port of Tiradentes Square in the city of Santarém, Monday night, and was scheduled to travel to Vitória do Xingu city.
An administrative probe, headed by the marines, and criminal inquiry, headed by the civil police, will be installed to clarify what happened in the Xingu River incident.
Ferries, fishing vessels and big commercial ships ply the Amazon waterways as one of the main forms of transport in a region with relatively few roads.