Disasters & Accidents

7 Killed as floating hotel capsizes on river in Brazil

Recife, Brazil, Oct 16 (EFE).- Seven of the 21 passengers and staff aboard a floating hotel that capsized on the Paraguay River in southern Brazil did not survive, authorities said Saturday.

The 14 other occupants of the craft were pulled from the water alive following the accident, which took place Friday night.

The fire department in Corumba, a city on the border with Bolivia, said that the vessel went down at a spot 415 km (258 mi) from Campo Grande, capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state.

Winds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) caused the river to become choppy and the pilot lost control of the house-boat carrying tourists on an excursion through the Pantanal, a vast expanse of tropical wetland that Brazil shares with Bolivia and Paraguay.

On Saturday, dust and smoke from nearby wildfires driven by winds associated with the same weather system darkened the skies over at least 18 towns in the region.

Navy divers recovered one body within hours of the accident and found six others on Saturday.

Four of the seven fatalities were members of a single family from Sao Paulo state, authorities said. EFE


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