Colombian tourist boat with 150 aboard sinks near Medellin

BOGOTA, Colombia — A rescue operation is underway in Colombia after a tourist boat with about 150 people on board sank in a reservoir near Medellin.

The air force said on Twitter that it was sending a helicopter to the Guatape reservoir while Medellin’s mayor said firefighters and scuba divers were heading to the town.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted that the air force and relief agencies were responding to the situation.

"We are ready to provide the assistance required," he said. 

Videos circulating on social media show a multi-story ferry sinking as a number of recreational boats rushed to the scene to pull people from the sinking vessel.

Authorities did not immediately say how many people had been rescued or were missing.

Survivors told local media that the boat, called El Almirante, appeared to be overloaded and none of the passengers on board were wearing life vests.

The reservoir surrounding the soaring rocky outcrop of El Penol is a popular weekend destination a little more than an hour from Medellin. It was especially busy Sunday as Colombians celebrated a long holiday weekend.

© 2017 Associated Press


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