Photo Credit: Minas Gerais State Government
Ten People Killed After Massive Rock Formation Collapses In A Brazil River
At least ten people have died after a massive rock formation collapsed in Brazil, hitting three boats with tourists inside. It happened on Furnas Lake in Capitólio on Saturday. Several others were injured and 2 people are still missing.
Videos showing the tragic incident went viral on the internet.
Around 12:30 pm, tourists were taking advantage of Saturday’s boat rides on Furnas Lake when one of them noticed the crack in one of the cliffs.
A video shows that about a minute before the wall of rock completely loosened, pieces of rock fell into the lake’s water. People can be heard telling the boats to move away from the rock. A minute later, the collapse happened.
“That piece of rock over there is falling. That piece is going to fall. Guys, let’s get out of here. Jesus Christ,” the tourist who caught the incident on camera, could be heard shouting. “My God! They are going to die”
“I looked up from the rock, from the mountain. Some pebbles were falling. I even commented, made a comment, to the boat pilot and he said it was nothing, that it was just a few pebbles. I looked again, that huge rock was already falling, that huge piece of rock. And I looked at that many boats down there. It was a horrible scene”, Andréia Mendonça, one of the surviving tourists told Jornal O Globo, a Brazilian newspaper.
Andréia Mendonça was on a speedboat with family members.
“All of a sudden, we started to see these first rock blocks displacing, and then the collapse of that rock structure, causing a big wave that threw people out of the boat to a height of 13 ft. It was basically like being hit by a locomotive or a train,” she explained.
Minas Gerais’ Emergency Management Office issued an alert at around 10:20 am for the occurrence of heavy rains in the region, with the possibility of a head of water, and instructed people to avoid the waterfalls during the rainy season.
After the massive rock collapses, the Brazilian Navy deployed teams to the site and informed, through a note, that an investigation will be launched to investigate the cause of the accident.
On social media, the governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema said that rescue work is underway and that he sympathizes with the families at this difficult time.
Chef Stella Guimarães Santana Silva, one of the tourists, had to receive medical treatment in a hospital in the city. She was on one of the boats that was hit.
“It was like a horror movie. I can’t really describe what it was. I wouldn’t be able to see the videos right now, because what was there was too real. It doesn’t even have an explanation,” she said.
This was not the first accident in the Lago de Furnas region. In January of last year, a head of water dragged at least six people from one of the waterfalls. Three people died and another 16 people were rescued, some with injuries.