BREAKING NEWS

At least 11 dead after passenger boat sinks in northern Brazil

A passenger boat carrying dozens of people in Brazil's northern region sank on Thursday, leaving at least 11 people dead and several still unaccounted for, officials said.

The speedboat had departed from Marajo island in the northern state of Para and was heading for the state capital of Belem, the country's navy said in a statement.

The state's public security and social defense secretary said via email that 63 people had been rescued and 11 bodies had been found, and that a search was ongoing to locate the remaining people believed to have been on board.

State firefighters and the country's navy said earlier in separate statements that 14 people had been reported dead.

State firefighters said in the statement that the boat did not have authorization to transport passengers on the intercity waterway and it had started the journey from an illegal port.

Civil police have started an investigation on the accident, the state firefighters statement added.

"The Civil Police is adopting all appropriate measures, within its attributions, to investigate and criminally hold those responsible for it."

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