Seven dead, 3 missing after rock face collapse at Brazilian waterfall

A tower of rocks suddenly broke away from the canyon wall and came crashing down on several leisure boats, killing 7 people and seriously injuring 9.

A view shows the site where a wall of rock collapsed on top of motor boats below a waterfall as firefighters of Minas Gerais state (not pictured) seek for victims, in Capitolio, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, January 8, 2022. (photo credit: FIRE BRIGADE OF MINAS GERAIS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A view shows the site where a wall of rock collapsed on top of motor boats below a waterfall as firefighters of Minas Gerais state (not pictured) seek for victims, in Capitolio, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, January 8, 2022.
(photo credit: FIRE BRIGADE OF MINAS GERAIS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

At least seven people died and nine were seriously injured when a wall of rock collapsed on top of motorboats below a waterfall in southeastern Brazil on Saturday, the fire department said.

A tower of rocks suddenly broke away from the canyon wall and came crashing down on several leisure boats, sending out a huge wave over the lake at Capitolio, in Minas Gerais state.

Videos posted on social media showed tourists shouting as the column of rock crashed into the water, smashing two boats.

Firefighters of Minas Gerais state and members of Brazilian Navy search for victms after a wall of rock collapsed on top of motor boats below a waterfall in Capitolio, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, January 8, 2022. (credit: FIRE BRIGADE OF MINAS GERAIS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)Firefighters of Minas Gerais state and members of Brazilian Navy search for victms after a wall of rock collapsed on top of motor boats below a waterfall in Capitolio, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, January 8, 2022. (credit: FIRE BRIGADE OF MINAS GERAIS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Authorities said three people were still missing after others feared lost were located by telephone. Divers searched the lake.

The people hurt in the accident had broken bones and one was in serious condition in hospital with head and facial injuries. Some 23 others were treated for light injuries, he said.

The region has been under heavy rainfall for two weeks, which could have loosened the rock face. On Saturday, a dike overflowed at an iron ore mine 300 kilometers to the east, cutting off a major federal highway.