Nine dead after Colombia tourist boat sinks in reservoir

Nine people died and 28 are missing after a multi-decked tourist boat carrying about 170 passengers sank in Colombia's Penol-Guatape reservoir on Sunday during the long holiday weekend, a government official said.

Officials did not disclose the cause of the accident and provided few details.

Videos posted on social media showed motorboats coming to the aid of passengers on the upper decks as the boat rocked from side to side. Ninety-nine people were rescued, Margarita Moncada, the head of disaster relief for Antioquia province, told journalists.

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Colombia tourist boat sinks in reservoir
Rescuers search for victims after a tourist boat sank with 150 passengers in the Guatape reservoir, Colombia, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Fredy Builes
Rescuers wait at the dock after a tourist boat sank with 150 passengers onboard at the Guatape reservoir, Colombia, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/ Fredy Builes
CORRECTION - Onlookers watch rescue efforts after the tourist boat Almirante sank in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank in a reservoir in northwestern Colombia on June 25, a regional official said. / AFP PHOTO / Joaquin SARMIENTO / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [adding in byline Joaquin Sarmiento]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP/Getty Images)
CORRECTION - Survivors clad in blankets arrive onshore after being rescued from the tourist boat Almirante in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank in a reservoir in northwestern Colombia on June 25, a regional official said. / AFP PHOTO / Joaquin SARMIENTO / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [adding in byline Joaquin Sarmiento]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP/Getty Images)
CORRECTION - Young survivors are comforted after the tourist boat Almirante sank in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank in a reservoir in northwestern Colombia on June 25, a regional official said. / AFP PHOTO / Joaquin SARMIENTO / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [adding in byline Joaquin Sarmiento]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP/Getty Images)
CORRECTION - Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (C) is interviewed after arriving at the scene where the tourist boat Almirante sank in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank in a reservoir in northwestern Colombia on June 25, a regional official said. / AFP PHOTO / Joaquin SARMIENTO / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [adding in byline Joaquin Sarmiento]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers are seen onboard the tourist boat Almirante in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank for unknown reasons in a reservoir in Colombia Sunday, authorities said, sharply raising an earlier toll. / AFP PHOTO / Juan QUIROZ (Photo credit should read JUAN QUIROZ/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Survivors are seen after the tourist boat Almirante sank in the Reservoir of Penol in Guatape municipality in Antioquia on June 25, 2017. At least nine people were dead and 28 missing after a tourist boat sank for unknown reasons in a reservoir in Colombia Sunday, authorities said, sharply raising an earlier toll. / AFP PHOTO / JOAQUIN SARMIENTO (Photo credit should read JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers wait at the dock after a tourist boat sank with 150 passengers in the Guatape reservoir, Colombia, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/ Fredy Builes
Rescuers wait at the dock after a tourist boat sank with 150 passengers onboard at the Guatape reservoir, Colombia, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/ Fredy Builes
Rescuers wait at the dock after a tourist boat sank with 150 passengers onboard at the Guatape reservoir, Colombia, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/ Fredy Builes
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"At the moment we have nine people found dead. Another 99 people were rescued immediately and 40 more got out on their own," she said.

Survivors on local television reports said they heard a loud noise before the boat began to sink and that not all of them had life jackets. Rescue operations were ongoing.

Rescue workers and the air force were helping passengers at the scene, President Juan Manuel Santos said in a Twitter post.

The large reservoir, about an hour from the central city of Medellin, is a popular tourist destination

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Richard Chang)

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