Three dead, 11 missing after tourism vessel capsizes in Brazil

Three dead, 11 missing after tourism vessel capsizes in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO - Search and rescue teams on Thursday combed the Paraguay River in search of 11 tourists still missing a day after their boat capsized and sank in Brazil's central Mato Grosso state.

The Paraguay-registered pleasure boat and two more bodies were found on Thursday, a fire and rescue official said. The body of one Brazilian tourist killed in the accident was recovered on Wednesday.

Four teams comprising a total of 21 firefighters, including 14 divers, have been mobilized, a fire and rescue official told AFP in Porto Mortinho, 430 kilometers (280 miles) from the state capital Campo Grande.

The vessel overturned in winds gusting at more than 90 kilometers (55 miles) per hour in a mini-tornado in a wetlands region of the river, the official said.

The vessel, the Sueno del Pantanal, had a total of 27 people aboard - 16 Brazilian tourists and 11 crew.

Paraguayan officials said 14 passengers and crew survived the accident and managed to swim ashore.

Search and rescue efforts suspended after nightfall, and resumed at daybreak Thursday.

Although less well-known than the Amazon, Brazil's Pantanal region is one of the world's largest wetland areas.

It is a popular attraction for eco-tourists who flock to see its rich flora and wildlife, including jaguar, which are threatened with extinction.

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