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09th Jan 2022

At least seven dead as video shows the moment canyon collapses

Kieran Galpin

A further 32 people are injured following the canyon collapse

At least seven people have been confirmed dead following an avalanche of rock that poured off a cliff and onto tourist boats in Brazil.

Three people are still missing, and a further 32 people are injured following the collapse of a canyon wall on Furnas lake in Capitolio, Minas Gerais state, on Saturday.

Harrowing videos posted to social media show a group of small boats berated with rocks falling from the cliff edge. Other boats sped off to escape the onslaught that caught two vehicles directly.

Known as the “sea of minas”, Furnas lake is a popular tourist destination. But heavy rain may have caused the rock to loosen, officials believe.

Minas Gerais Fire Department commander Edgard Estevo said divers were searching the area for up to twenty missing. Some of those people were located by phone, but at least three are still being searched for.

Two boats were hit directly by falling debris, with 24 people being rescued alive from the disaster, said fire department spokesman Pedro Aihara.

Around 23 people were treated for light injuries, but it’s understood that nine people are in serious condition, one with injuries to their face and head.

A video posted by Conexão GeoClima on Twitter shows tourists astounded by the level of water being pumped out by the waterfall.

They wrote: “Minutes before the accident with a rock fall in Capitolio, Minas Gerais, a head of water was recorded in the Furnas Canyon waterfall. Note the sudden volume in the waterfall.”

The Brazillian navy has said they will be investigating the cause of the disaster.

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