Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil ferry sinks near Salvador killing at least 18 people

The body of one of the victims of a boat wreck, after a ferry sank off the north-eastern state of Bahia, is loaded at the Maritime Terminal of Salvador, Bahia State, on August 24, 2017. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bodies have been retrieved from the waters of the All Saints' Bay in Bahia

At least 18 people have died after a ferry sank off the north-eastern Brazilian city of Salvador.

About 90 people have been pulled alive from the sea by rescue teams and private boats.

The vessel was on a short route from the island of Itaparica, in Bahia state, which is popular with tourists.

This is the second major boat accident in Brazil this week. A ferry sank on Tuesday on the Xingu river killing at least 19 people.

Survivors of the latest incident said the ferry capsized when it was hit by a powerful wave.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Survivors said they had to stay in the water for up two hours before they were rescued

"It was raining and we were hit by a wave. It took a long time for us to be rescued. I was in the sea for two hours," Edvaldo Santos de Almeida told O Globo newspaper.

The ferry, which had a capacity to carry 160 people, had 129 people on board, local authorities said.

Survivors have been taken to hospitals in the state capital, Salvador.

The boat that sank late on Tuesday in the state of Para was carrying about 70 passengers.

It was travelling overnight from the city of Santarem to Vitoria do Xingu in Brazil's Amazon region.

Police are investigating what may have caused the vessel to sink and whether it may have been carrying more passengers than permitted.

Related Topics

More on this story