A giant rock dislodged from a scenic canyon in southern Brazil, smashing into three boats, killing one tourist and leaving 15 others injured Saturday.
In the horrific scene, captured on video, boaters screamed as they watched a giant slab of rock dislodge from a canyon and fall onto boats cruising the lake below near Capitolio, a city in Minas Gerais state.
Rovilson Teixeira, who has worked as a guide in the tourist area for the last six years, said he was stunned by the sight of the falling rocks. “We are completely shocked, and nobody really knows how many victims are involved,” he told Brazilian reporters. “There is not just one, not just two but probably many deaths. There are a lot of people with injuries. The region is full of ambulances that have come from other parts of the state to help the victims. No one is sure about the size of this tragedy.”
A spokesman for the Brazilian Navy said they are opening an investigation into the accident.
The governor of Minas Gerais state said in a statement that the accident was likely caused by heavy rains in the area that dislodged the rocks. Authorities issued warnings for tourists to stay away from waterfalls in the area just hours before the accident.
“We are suffering the pain of a tragedy in our state due to heavy rains that provoked the accident in the Furnas lake. Rescue workers are still on the scene, ” said Minas Gerais governor Romeu Zema. “We are in solidarity with the families at this difficult moment.”
“We have to comfort the families who are waiting for bodies to show up,” said Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. “This is something we can do with the Navy and the Fire Department in Minas Gerais.”